Nunavut Declares Suicide Epidemic a State of Emergency

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Nunavut, Canada’s largest and northernmost territory, is suffering from a suicide rate that is 10 times the national average.  “In the case of Inuit boys 15 to 19,” CBC News reports, “the suicide rate is 40 times higher than those of their peers in the rest of Canada.” A judicial inquest was ordered to examine the issue.  The results revealed the underlying risk factors—“from the effects of historical trauma and its symptoms to the high rates of child sexual abuse, alcohol and drug use, poverty, high school dropout rates, and the cultural losses brought about by residential schools and forced relocations.”

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5 COMMENTS

  1. This reminds me of the Oglala Sioux Indians of South Dakota. I daydream about winning the Powerball or Mega Millions so I can give it to them.

    Looks like the governance in Nunavut is unreliable and shoddy. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/nunavut-legislature-day-3-highlights-from-the-assembly-1.3092451

    They’re a state of desolation. http://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/a-deafening-silence-on-aboriginal-issues/

    There’s something about Syrian refugees? DIVERT, do not enter the No Zone. Nunavut should not even think about accepting Syrian refugees. The Nunavut people themselves ARE some sort of refugees.

    There’s the problem. The cause of suicides (in addition to the poverty and sick culture),

    ““The relationship between the current government and Indigenous people is unnecessarily adversarial,” says AFN Chief Perry Bellegarde in an interview. “They spent [$110] million this year fighting court battles over Aboriginal rights and title. If we continue this approach, we’ll continue to lose generations of people; we’ll continue to lose languages and potential and opportunity.

    “Party leaders need to pay attention to our issues and priorities; they are Canada’s issues and priorities,” Bellegarde tells Maclean’s.”

  2. I live in the Canadian arctic. You cannot understand this situation without factoring in residential school trauma, education, employment, housing, correctional services, addiction services, food security, medical care and the cost of living. All are failures on a grand scale.

    It is criminal the way we treat our people.

    The world is watching.

  3. Btw, isn’t it a sign of how f***ed up our thinking about these issues is when the article first writes about all the social, economical and historic reasons for the suicide epidemic to then label it a “public health issue”? It’s not a health issue – it’s a social justice issue. It won’t be helped by pills and a bunch of “professionals” but by putting the record straight for the decades of systemic abuse and fixing the injustice.