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Suicide in BC Community

The Vancouver Sun publishes today a long and immensely sad portrait of suicide and other social problems in Hazelton, British Columbia. The article’s subtitle summarizes adequately the suicide problem facing the community: “Eight suicides and 111 attempts this year have left a B.C. community reeling.” Speculative answers for the suicide epidemic are given: downturn in forestry, failed promise of the Delgamuukw decision, lack of social services and recreation, a long history of neglect are all offered without definitive conclusion.

For readers wanting a picture of life on a British Columbia reserve, this article provides a detailed presentation of the challenges faced. For other readers — those who continue not to believe that the social issues facing native people people are anything more than failed assimilation (see comments in both cases) — this piece should be an eye-opener.

Note: Hazelton is located along Highway 16 in northwestern British Columbia.

January 23, 2008: Suicide rate in Hazeltons alarming: Northern Health (Prince George Citizen)

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