Broken Walls News
Thursday, October 20, 2016
Broken Walls recently travelled to Pelican Narrows, SK. Jonathan shares: “Our trip to Pelican Narrows required me to get up at 4:00am, pick up Matt Fairchild at his home and drive to the airport in Toronto. Once we arrived in Saskatoon, SK, we had to wait for Bill Pagaran who had flown through the night to meet us. Paul Starling and his friend, John Walmsley drove from Calgary to help us with the sound. We were greeted by Richard and Polly Erb. We then picked up some supplies, and Richard and Polly drove us approximately 7 hours north on treacherous roads through falling snow. Prior to this, I had received a phone call telling me about a young native girl of 8 years of age who had taken her own life. This tragedy was the reason for our trip.
This is the horrible situation that exists in many of our First Nations communities across Canada and the United States. Poor education, abject poverty and lack of vision have held many of our precious First Peoples in a place of unthinkable despair.
In this country of prosperity where we extend our hands to help immigrants who are suffering and in need, many of our First Peoples are living in 3rd world poverty and hopelessness. Our county must act now! No more lives should be lost. Hope needs to be restored, promises need to be kept. We as government, church, professionals, businesses and individuals must put our abilities and gifts together to put an end to this crisis.
Not only does it affect our First Peoples but it is also the image that the world has of Canada and the United States. It’s time to act together and this means at every level, from the individual to the top level of government. We need to build relationships, eat together and honour past promises as important first steps.
There are so many brilliant people in this land who could be a part of bringing this crisis to an end. We must all do what we can and together we will see hope and prosperity become a part of our native people’s daily lives. For more than 2 decades, I have traveled into these communities and have been so moved by individuals who have laid their lives on the line to bring hope and change. Without them, so many more lives would have been lost. These modern day heroes are weary and have stared in the face of hopelessness for many years. I say to them “Thank you for your sacrifices!”
Our mission as Broken Walls has always been to break down walls and unify people. With issues like suicide that knows no boundaries, we need to learn how to unite government, clergy, clinicians and individuals in order to defeat this common enemy. One thing that I have learned is that we need one another. We have proven that we can’t do it alone. As we join hands and hearts together, we will see this common enemy defeated. – With much hope for our First Nations future”, Jonathan Maracle