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DUNCAN, B.C. - Leaders of a Vancouver Island First Nation are planning to hold a news conference this morning to discuss a rash of suicides that has prompted them to declare a state of emergency.
The Cowichan Tribes, located in Duncan, B.C., on central Vancouver Island, declared a state of emergency at a band council meeting last week.
Chief Harvey Alphonse declined to say much before the news conference, but he says the community needs provincial and federal support to curb its suicide rate.
From late February to late April, the BC Coroners Service recorded four suicides involving First Nation men living between Duncan and Nanaimo.
Corners service spokeswoman Barbara McLintock says three of the four appear to be Cowichan members and were in their 20s and 30s, while the fourth male was a 72-year-old.
McLintock says the coroner doesn't keep track of attempted suicides.
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