To the Expositor:
I think it is a tragedy to see young people reaching a situation of despair that leads them to end their lives. However, the article by Alicia McCutcheon about an interview with Chief Shining Turtle of Wawaskinaga contains misinformation which causes me to question the entire article and its intention (‘Suicide Watch: Federal government criticized for neglect of First Nation youth,’ September 14, Page 1). Around the time Chief Shining Turtle claims to have written for funding for community developed programs regarding the problem is also unfortunately around the same time that Minister Strahl was diagnosed with having cancer, resulting from chemical use in the logging industry of B.C. Minister Strahl withdrew from his position and did not run in the last election. I find it amazing that Chief Shining Turtle obviously is unaware of this occurrence or is ignoring it to make a virulent attack on the government.
I greatly admire the volunteers who organize, annually, the Lil’ NHL and, I am sure, do much to ensure a feeling of self worth in the players, but there are those of us in this world who do not, amazingly, care for the game and would like to participate in some other sport or activity.
I personally spent a large part of my life in the Scouting movement and can attest to the number of men who have gained much from this movement. One only has to look at the success of the Sea Cadets of Little Current to realize that there are many children who prefer something other than hockey. The solution to this scourge of suicides is to instill a sense of self-worth in our children, which entails a cadre of volunteers to run various programs for our children to teach them that they can achieve anything to which they set their minds.
Personally, I would request that the Prayer Warriors of the area add Chuck Strahl to their list of names considered worthy of prayer in order that he may benefit from their efficacious prayers.
EDITOR’S RESPONSE: The Expositor stands by the story, irrespective of Minister Strahl’s unfortunate health issues.