Activists from the group Idle No More have occupied the offices of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada in a show of solidarity with the Attawapiskat First Nation in northern Ontario.
The group which also includes members of the Black Lives Matter movement arrived at the office building in the area of Yonge Street and St. Clair East just before 11.a.m. on Wednesday morning.
Facebook photos posted by the Idle No More group show the protesters inside the office with some holding placards while others lay on the floor.
A Canadian flag has also been removed from the office while a banner that reads ”Attawapiskat First Nation” has been hung on the wall.
Toronto Police are on scene but say that the protest has been non violent.
Protesters from the grassroots movement for indigenous rights are calling on the federal government to take action to address the suicide crisis in the remote First Nation.
Attawapiskat’s chief and eight Councillors declared a state of emergency on Saturday, citing 11 suicide attempts so far in the month of April and 28 recorded attempts in March, while a suicide pact between 13 young people, including a 9 year old was thwarted by police on Monday.
Protesters say that they will stay at the office until INAC officials promise to take action.
Meanwhile, in Ottawa the crisis was debated by MP’s in the House of Commons for more than 5 hours on Tuesday evening.