FSIN Fall Legislation Assembly in Yorkton. Photo by Joel Willick

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations is demanding immediate funding from the federal government to support initiatives to prevent youth suicides.

The FSIN passed a resolution at its fall assembly Wednesday afternoon that included several initiatives on youth suicide.

The resolution entitled the “Chief Beatty Youth Procedural Resolution,” includes a Youth Suicide Prevention Conference and the development of a youth mental health facility. Both of which they are demanding to be endorsed and funded by the federal government.

The resolution was passed with a vote of 53 in favour and no one opposed or abstaining.

FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron spoke about the positives of these initiatives, but says any changes that will happen go beyond funding.

“Chief and council — we need to show our young people they are loved,” Chief Cameron told the assembly. “Go to your schools and encourage them. I love you, have a good day, anything that it takes to brighten our children’s day.”

Several other chiefs echoed Cameron’s comments, saying the changes will come from community-driven initiatives.

Prince Albert Grand Council Chief Ron Michel says the resolution is about everyone working together.

“We at the grand council are ready to bring in our educators, our social workers, our elders to one place to sit down because it is not just suicide,” says Chief Michel.  “It is a lot of social problems, drugs and other things and it will take the community to deal with this.”

The resolution comes in response to multiple First Nations youth who have taken their own lives in the past month.

The FSIN Fall Legislative Assembly is currently taking place in Yorkton and will wrap up on Thursday.

Several other resolutions are also on the agenda, including a review of the Gaming Framework Agreement, a proposed five-year crime reduction strategy and a First Nations HIV/AIDS strategy.

On Wednesday morning, the assembly also passed a resolution establishing a joint task force to develop a regional funding mechanism for First Nations education.

Witchekan Lake First Nation was named as the host of the 2018 First Nation Winter Games to be played in Saskatoon.

Also, Incoming Children’s Advocate, Corey O’Soup from Key First Nation, was honoured by the chiefs in assembly.