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Helping Aboriginal Children and Youth in the Ring of Fire

Archived News Release

Helping Aboriginal Children and Youth in the Ring of Fire

McGuinty Government Adding Mental Health And Addictions Workers

Ontario is increasing access to culturally-appropriate mental health and addictions services for Aboriginal children and young people in the Ring of Fire communities through new mental health and addictions workers.

Through the Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, these new workers will provide counseling, individual and group therapy, crisis intervention, and a range of traditional health services, including traditional teachings and ceremonies to Eabametoong, Marten Falls, Neskantaga, Nibinamik and Webequie First Nations communities.

Investing in community and social supports is part of the McGuinty government's commitment to ensuring that Ring of Fire communities have the social, community and economic development supports they need to benefit fully from mineral development opportunities.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario is investing $375,000 annually for mental health and addictions workers in Ring of Fire communities.
  • Ontario is adding more than 80 new mental health and addictions workers across the province to help almost 4,000 Aboriginal children and young people get better access to culturally appropriate mental health and addictions services.
  • The Ring of Fire is one of the most promising mineral development opportunities in Ontario in almost a century.
  • The Ring of Fire is located about 540 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay.

Additional Resources


“Our government wants every Aboriginal child and youth to have a good life, good health and a successful future. This investment will provide culturally-appropriate, direct services to kids in high-needs Aboriginal communities on- and off-reserve.”

Laurel Broten

Minister of Children and Youth Services

“The Ring of Fire is a tremendous economic development opportunity that would generate new wealth, social benefits and direct and indirect jobs for area First Nations. It’s important that we ensure First Nations in the region have the resources they need to build strong, vibrant and healthy communities. Together, we can ensure Ring of Fire communities benefit fully from natural resource development.”

Rick Bartolucci

Minister of Northern Development and Mines

“Investments like this one are important to helping ensure our youth have access to high-quality health services. This new support means hiring and training a dedicated mental health and addictions worker who can provide the young people living in our community with counseling, therapy and other critical supports.”

Chief Cornelius Wabasse

Webequie First Nation

“This investment will help more Aboriginal children and youth get the best start in life. We are hiring additional workers, providing more training and expanding telesychiatry to ensure that children across Ontario are able to reach their full potential.”

Chris Bentley

Minister of Aboriginal Affairs

Media Contacts



Health and Wellness Home and Community Rural and North Aboriginal People Children and Youth Parents People with Disabilities