• Anishinaabekwe woman Sarain Carson-Fox investigates youth suicide among Canada's First Nation people (Instagram/sarainfox)Source: Instagram/sarainfox
“They’re just given exactly enough to survive and it’s perfect. It’s a perfect scenario because eventually if you stay in that scenario long enough you start killing yourselves off and then you’re not a problem for the government anymore.”
By
Bianca Soldani

15 Nov 2016 - 1:54 PM  UPDATED 15 Nov 2016 - 5:05 PM

Isolation, poverty and intergenerational trauma are contributing to an epidemic of suicide among Canada's First Nation youths.

In August this year, the community of Cross Lake, Manitoba, declared a state of emergency after 140 people threatened or attempted suicide in a single two week period. It followed six deaths by suicide in the preceding two months and a string of four teenage suicides at the beginning of the year. The population of Cross Lake is only 8,000.

Reporter and Anishinaabekwe woman Sarain Carson-Fox, visits the community to speak to a group of young people running a suicide prevention group in powerful Viceland documentary Cut Off

Suicide is a matter close to Carson-Fox's heart after her own father took his life when she was just 15. She likens life in some of Canada’s First Nation reserves to “a prison in general population" and invites Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to meet some of the young people who live there.

Cut Off is on SBS Viceland on Sunday at 7:05pm. Stream it on SBS On Demand

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