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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Another aboriginal teens commits suicide while in care of a state run group home.

Story credits to Social services economic crimes.

Mourners gather Friday, April 25, 2014, at the burial of a 15-year-old aboriginal girl who hanged herself in a group home on April 21, 2014. The girl, who was buried in Maskwacis, cannot be identified under a provincial publication ban.
Karen Kleiss, Edmonton Journal
MASKWACIS - The mournful heartbeat of traditional Cree drum songs haunted a Maskwacis community hall Friday as the mother of a dead teenage girl bent over her daughter’s body, placed her forehead on the girl’s chest, and wept.
An elder used a white feather to sweep curling wisps of sweetgrass smoke over the girl, who looked as if she was sleeping. Her grey coffin was decorated with simple cedar boughs. Guests brought roses.
KC was 15 years old, a ward of the province, a troubled young woman who cut her arms, struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder and repeatedly tried to kill herself, her family said.
On April 21, 2014 she hanged herself from a closet bar in her Edmonton group home, sometime in the early afternoon. Her body was found 12 hours later.
Like all children who die in foster care, she must remain nameless and faceless by law, but her family wants her story told.
KC’s aunt said caseworkers convinced the family the best way to help KC was to give her over to the province.
“When my sister signed the permanent guardianship order, they said KC would get the help that she needed. My sister believed them,” the aunt said.
“I was there. My sister pleaded and she cried. They promised her. They said they would help KC, but they didn’t.”
The aunt says the family wants to know why KC was left unsupervised, and for so long.
“It was no secret that KC was suicidal,” the aunt said. “She had 50 or 100 cuts on her arms.”
Aboriginal kids are more likely to be in foster care, more likely to die in care, and more likely to die by suicide.
The Alberta Centre for Child, Family and Community Research reports that suicide rates among children in care are nearly triple those of children who are not in care.
Aboriginal children make up about nine per cent of the Alberta child population and account for 58 per cent of children in care, and the mortality rate for aboriginal children in care is 111 per 100,000, compared to 71 per 100,000 of non-aboriginal children in care.
KC’s death is not unique; the circumstances of her suicide appear almost identical to those of a 17-year-old aboriginal boy named DED-B. Like KC, he was known to be suicidal, and like KC, he hanged himself in an Edmonton group home.
A fatality inquiry was held, and a Provincial Court Judge said facilities for suicidal youth should have break-away closet bars that cannot support their weight in the event of a suicide attempt.
DED-B died in 2000, nearly 14 years ago; it is not known why the recommendation was not implemented at KC’s group home by 2014.
“I feel the system has failed my family,” the girl’s aunt said. “I think there should be a public inquiry.”
She said KC’s mother went to the group home to collect her daughter’s things, but had to fight to keep the girl’s diaries, which told the dark story of her descent into depression.
Youth worker Mark Cherrington said the diaries will be crucial to giving KC a voice, and figuring what went wrong in the days leading to her death.
“These are Anne Frank diaries — daily, detailed writing from a young woman in crisis,” Cherrington said. “And she just hung there, for hours. Then they shut down the group home, because everyone was traumatized, but there were no other appropriate facilities for the kids to go to.”
Community leaders said governments need to provide resources to help stop the suicide crisis among aboriginal teens.
“What’s going through my mind today is the turmoil and the agony the young lady experienced in trying to get her situation resolved through the child welfare jungle, and to be heard,” said Marilyn Buffalo, past-president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada and a citizen of the Samson Cree Nation, who attended the funeral.
“The solution is for us to completely overhaul the child welfare system. The federal government has a fiduciary responsibility, and they cannot wash their hands and walk away.
“This child was a Treaty Indian, her mother is a Treaty Indian, and with that comes responsibilities that they have to look after these people.”
“It’s quite obvious, from all the evidence, that she was crying out for help.”
It's obvious as a people we can no longer depend on the state to care for our children, they can't even care for their own.
How many times have we heard of children dying in their care and nothing "ever changes".
What we really need is unity of all nations of Turtle Island and a degree of independence,economic and social.
How long until we realise, talking does not work, how many of our women have to disappear, our children die in their care, our Elders forgotten, until we realise, we are not the ward of a state.
As long as we look to other to take care for our faltering society, we will always be dependent on the whims of others and that type of life does not work...
We need leaders who will start at the least, mentioning independence, work towards it, instead of staying in the same path we have been in for hundreds of years, which is getting us nowhere and getting us scraps from a table...
During what was called the Oka crisis 24 years ago, we saw the potential for unity, and it scared the sh*t out of them, nations from all over Turtle Island came to help in the land of the Mohawks, thousands made their way to the North to show we are still here, the only thing we need is one person to say...ENOUGH. The will is there, we only need real leaders.
For 2000 years the Israelis were kept from their lands, yet they returned and now thrive, if they can do it, we can also.
Our children are dying, some sniff glue, gas, resort to drugs and alcohol to solve their problems and that continues on to their descendants...because there is no hope.
Such a people will eventually disappear.
Is this what we want, the death of one of the sacred colors, assimilation to oblivion?
We need a balance in life, and we do not have it if we keep on going to others to solve our problems.

Payers for all the Innocent who have taken their lives.......


Tewennate said...

Sekoh, payers for the children and their families.

Runingwolf said...

I agree with everything that was said, and prayers for these kids.

Izabelle said...

Wado udohiyu utsati

Anonymous said...

Agreed.We need to stand on our own.

Matie said...

so sad,we have 2 do something, this hapens 2 often.

Nikyon the clan mother said...

Prayers for the lost children,self determination is the only path left,good post.

Angrydad said...

What Niky said.

The Native Canadian said...

Thank you for the prayers for these children and all the others whom we never hear about.

Anonymous said...

I worked with KC she was a beautiful bright young lady!! She was caring kind and a great kid. Id like to know where she went and why she was not checked on for 12 hrs. Standard checks when a child is awake and along is 30 min and when asleep an hour. This should fall on tge workers when she left from our home as she was doing well with us. My heart goes out to her family, friends and loved ones. Be strong shes watching over you all!!

The Native Canadian said...

A great lost for all of us.

Anonymous said...

The cas cannot be trusted to look after any child.The reason for them hiding behind the "child protection act" is not to protect the children,but to protect themselves from their own incompetence.


May you finally R.I.P. little one.