Cross Lake Healing Fund
Organized by: Joanne Bibuuneebeesh
March 18, 2016
The Pimicikamak Cree Nation, also known as the Cross Lake First Nation, declared a state of emergency on March 9, 2016. This community of 8,300 in northern Manitoba has lost six members to suicide in the past two months and has experienced 140 suicide attempts in the past two weeks alone. The community is overwhelmed and traumatized. This is a human tragedy, not just a First Nations tragedy or a Canadian tragedy. Together we can help. The community has identified an immediate need for mental health support.
The goal of this campaign is to provide art therapy kits to interested teens and adults in the community. The kits will contain an art therapy coloring book, a set of 24 colored pencils and a pencil sharpener (see images). The cost of each kit and shipping is approximately $20 Canadian or $15 US.
While a coloring book might seem like a frivolous item, adult coloring books are a popular and effective way to reduce stress and anxiety and to produce a state of mindfulness. The kit will also send the message that others care. This effort will bring some immediate comfort to recipients in the absence of adequate counseling services. If the effort helps just one individual pass through an hour of darkness, it will be a success.
All money received from donations will be deposited into a trust account and go towards the stated goal. If additional funds are raised, the funds will be used to fund additional kits.
This is a grassroots effort to assist the Pimicikamak community. It is not an official campaign of the First Nation or any other agency, though the organizer has informed the Chief and Council of its existence and reached out for a designated representative to coordinate implementation with. 100% of funds received will go towards the stated goal.
See http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2685038169 AND http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2685039117 AND http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/03/09/manitoba-first-nation-declares-state-of-emergency-over-suicide-epidemic_n_9420962.html