Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 6/1/2010 (4522 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Suicides, solvent abuse and violence have dominated headlines about the remote northern reserve, a fly-in community on the north shore of Gods River, 750 kilometres north of Winnipeg. About 1,350 people live in Shamattawa.
Shamattawa, which is among the poorest reserves in the province, made national headlines in July 2002, when then-chief William Miles declared a state of emergency after three people committed suicide and another 39 attempted suicide in less than eight days.
In 2007, more than one-quarter of the youths on the reserve either attempted suicide or threatened to end their lives.
In May 2008, four kids attempted suicide -- the youngest was nine. They were among the 47 people who attempted to kill themselves in the first five months of that year.
Shamattawa is supposed to be a dry reserve, but alcohol and solvent abuse are common. Solvents like gas, paint thinner, glue and other products that produce a high when inhaled are frequently abused on the reserve.
A 16-year-old girl from Shamattawa was charged with second-degree murder in the death of a 15-year-old girl in January 2007. The girls had been sniffing gasoline or solvents when they got into a dispute. The younger girl was hit on the head with a log.
Awasis Agency of Northern Manitoba is one of the biggest and most troubled aboriginal child welfare agencies in the province.
It serves a dozen of the poorest and most remote communities, including Shamattawa.
Awasis was at the top of the priority list for a systemic review following the death of several kids in care in recent years, including Rephanniah Redhead, 14, who committed suicide in Shamattawa.