Letters to Attawapiskat

This has always been one of my favorite Historical Stories ever.


The story goes that Cartier asked the chief, Donnacona, what the land was called. The chief, who was inviting Cartier into their camp, replied “kanata,” their word for village, as well as their name for the area around their home, Stadaconé. Maybe Cartier understood Donnacona, or maybe he did not, but “Canada” has remained the name of the whole vast territory that comprises our country.

For a lot of reasons, but mostly because when you watch the video it showcases so clearly, the disregard Europeans had for their Canadian neighbors, a problem that has continued through the ages.

In the Bible Jesus says “If you give a man a fish he eats for one day, if you teach him to fish, he eats for a life time”. I have had a hard time over the past years with the fact that we give these tribes so much money and yet they still manage to suffer so much and tonight, thanks to the lovely writer of JSack’s Mom I have been inspired.

You see since September of 2015 nearly 200 people have attempted or succeeded in committing suicide. The youngest that I know about is only eleven years old. This is a town filled with depression, sadness, and severe mental health issues.

The kids in this town have asked for a few amenities to make life a little better. Their requests are simple, counselors, a movie theater, a library, a coffee shop, things we in the rest of this beautiful country take for granted every single day. So I am asking all my friends, and my family to help out with this amazing campaign.

I warn you right now I didn’t post this on the eve of writing, because as I write this I am simultaneously making a list of things “I” can do to help.

  • Write a letter to a stranger, share a favorite memory, or even a time when you felt like ending your life. Say hello and offer to be a pen-pal (if you are under the age of 18 please have your parents help and permission before sending out your address to anyone. )
  • Send a pile of books, do you have a favorite series that you love but don’t read any more?
  • Send some old DVDs, I have a few hundred that I don’t use any more that I will be packing up and sending to Attawapiskat  so that the people there can use and share them.
  • Send some of your favorite recipes – cooking is incredibly therapeutic, so maybe send some of your favorites so that they can cook them and reciprocate by sending some of theirs.
  • Have your children send some art, a painting or a drawing or perhaps a hand made card.
  • Send art supplies, old cd’s etc.

In the scheme of things these are all little things tiny things that we take for granted every single day, but the very act of taking the time to show these people so far removed from the rest of Canada’s luxeries might save a life, and if we as a country can pull together and show our Kanata Neighbors that they are not alone, then it’s completely worth it, don’t you think?


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