Children’s Services Minister Danielle Larivee issued the following statement in response to the Child and Youth Advocate’s Investigative Reviews released today:
“Indigenous youth suicide is a crisis in too many communities in Alberta and across Canada. The loss of these two young men is a tragic reminder of the urgent need for all orders of government to work together to address this crisis. We are committed to working, across government, to do more on this critical issue.
“It is vital for children who come into our care or custody to maintain and strengthen connections to their families and communities when it is safe, and in the child’s best interest. Our expectation is that youth in custody or care are able to contact those who love them, and that contact only be denied in extreme circumstances.
“We are moved by the bond between Jimmy and his sister, and by her strong commitment to caring for him. That kind of love and connection is what our work needs to support – wrapping around families to help them through challenging times.
“We thank the Advocate for his recommendations and for being a partner in our work to strengthen the ways we support children and families. We will take the time to look at these recommendations, and explore what actions we can take to address the challenges the Advocate identified.”