Wednesday, April 23, 2014
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Report calls for action for First Nations youth

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA A new report by Ontario's advocate for children and youth is calling for a five-year plan to address the needs and difficulties facing aboriginal young people.

It sets a 60-day timeline for governments of all levels to state their support for the five-year plan and to create a formal body to put the plan into action.

The report also urges governments of all levels to make northern remote and fly-in First Nations communities safer and healthier.

The report, titled "Feathers of Hope," came out of meetings last year involving more than 160 aboriginal youth from 64 communities. Among other things, it touches on the lingering effects of residential schools, culture, education, youth suicide, physical and mental health, and drug and alcohol abuse.

The report was jointly released in Ottawa, Toronto and Thunder Bay.

Samantha Crowe, one of the report's authors, says she wasn't surprised by the issues raised by First Nations youth during the meetings.

"We have been experiencing this, we've been struggling with it for a very long time."

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