Boy's drowning the latest crisis for First Nation

A six-year-old boy drowned to death on the Pauingassi First Nation in Manitoba last week though it's not the only crisis the reserve has faced.

Last year, two girls aged 13 and 15 were charged with second-degree murder in the beating death of a 22-year-old woman. The community also has been dealing with gasoline sniffing and alcohol abuse.

In 2005, officials said more than 20 percent of residents, including half of the school-aged children, were addicted to sniffing gasoline, the Canadian Press reported. More than a dozen people, including a 16-year-old boy, have committed suicide since 2000.

"It's a cry for help, because … children learn what they live. What are they learning? To drink, you know, and be hungry," Edna Nabess, a former child and family services worker, told CBC News.

The three boys who are deemed responsible for the six-year-old's death won't face charges because they are too young. They are being sent for counseling.

Get the Story:
Child's death at Pauingassi 'a cry for help' (CBC 8/13)
Boy's death latest sign of crisis at reserve CP 8/14)

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