Monday, June 29, 2009

Canadian streets, prisons `the asylums of the 21st century,' former senator warns

By Pamela Cowan, Canwest News Service

Former Liberal senator Michael Kirby is lashing out at this country for the way it has cared for its mentally ill.

Kirby says health officials closed insane asylums across the country after deciding that institutionalizing or ``warehousing'' people was the wrong approach - promising instead to create community-based beds for the mentally ill.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

National suicide rates for First Nations youths

Leader-PostJune 24, 2009 10:01 AM

National suicide rates for First Nations youths:

The First Nations suicide rate among youths, 10 to 19 years, was 4.3 times greater than for other Canadians in 2000.

There were 28.2 suicides per 100,000 First Nations people while the suicide rate for non First Nations youth was 6.5 deaths per 100,000.

In 2000, the overall suicide rate among the First Nations population was 24.1 deaths per 100,000 people.

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Parents struggle with the loss of their children

By Pamela Cowan, Leader-Post
LA LOCHE — For Joanne Janvier, the loss came just as her grandfather had predicted.

"I used to bring him flowers when I was a little girl," the La Loche resident says. "One day, I was playing out in the sand and he called me in and I sat beside his bedside and he said, 'That flower that you brought me today — you think it's beautiful?' And I said, 'It's pretty.'
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Communities struggle to break the cycle of suicide

By Pamela Cowan, Leader-Post

LA LOCHE — Father John Zunti performs 100 baptisms a year in La Loche, and every time he does so, he celebrates new life. But he is no stranger to death, either — the premature deaths among this community's young people.
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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

rebel youth magazine: Not a token day: National Aboriginal Day, June 21st, summer solstice

rebel youth magazine: Not a token day: National Aboriginal Day, June 21st, summer solstice

Holistic healing touch works best

Lynnette Hoffman

Aboriginal communities are shaping their own path to mental health, building on traditional cultural values

ONCE ominously referred to as the suicide capital of Australia, the tiny indigenous community of Yarrabah in far north Queensland had hit crisis mode when residents decided to take matters into their own hands.
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Pilot project to hire 'commitment coaches' for at-risk aboriginal youth

By Cigdem Iltan, Edmonton Journal
At-risk aboriginal students at three Edmonton junior high schools will have better access to resources to help them deal with problems after a$207,000 grant from the province, Alberta Education Minister Dave Hancock announced Thursday at a preview celebration of National Aboriginal Day on Thursday.
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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Aboriginal Day Celebrates Culture but Poverty and Frustration Remain

By Matthew Little

This Sunday Canada will mark National Aboriginal Day and celebrate the cultures of our First Nations, Inuit and Métis people. But that celebration will be tinted by the bitter reality facing Canada's founding peoples and the ongoing frustrations that some Aboriginal leaders predict will lead to confrontations down the road.

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Parents Against Drugs organize walk this weekend

By TERA CAMUS Capre Breton Bureau
SYDNEY — A community walk to protest the use of drugs will be held in Wagmatcook this weekend.

Eskasoni RCMP Cst. Duma Bernard urged 300 members of Parents against Drugs on Wednesday to get involved with the First Nation community’s walk that begins at 1 p.m. Saturday. It starts at a local gas station, travels along Highway 105 before ending at the Cultural Center where a barbeque will take place.

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First flu, now teen's death in holding cell

By: Mary Agnes Welch
ONE of the remote First Nation reserves grappling with the H1N1 flu outbreak is also coping with the suicide of a teenager who died while in police custody.Calvin Waylon McDougall, 19, was found dead May 7 in a cell at the Garden Hill police station. The death was never made public.

His family says McDougall used a strip of blanket tied to a doorknob in the holding cell to hang himself.

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Residential-school syndrome is Canada's shameful legacy

Robert Laboucane
Troy Media Corp.

The ill-fated residential school system is not an easy topic to explain -- the details are often horrific and the logic behind its implementation seriously flawed.

But while many factors come into play to explain why Canadian Aboriginal people are where they are today, it is one of the key factors that has devastated its people, communities, governance, spirituality, cultures and languages.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

NAHO Announces Celebration of the 2009-2010 National Aboriginal Role Models

OTTAWA, ON – Get to know this year’s National Aboriginal Role Models with an evening of cultural sights and sounds June 20, 2009 at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. The National Aboriginal Health Organization (NAHO) will hold the inauguration for the 12 2009-2010 Role Models in the museum’s Grand Hall in Gatineau, Quebec.

Commemorating its twenty-fifth anniversary this year, the National Aboriginal Role Model Program celebrates the accomplishments of First Nations, Inuit and Métis youth aged 13 to 30. Role models are recognized for their innovation, achievement and leadership. Throughout the year, they will visit First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities to share their stories with other First Nations, Inuit and Métis youth.

Date: Saturday, June 20, 2009.
Time: 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Location: Grand Hall at the Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec.

The National Aboriginal Health Organization (NAHO) is an Aboriginal nonprofit organization that advances the health and well-being of First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals, families and communities.

For more information on the National Aboriginal Role Model Program, visit

For media inquiries, contact:
Colleen Patterson, Communications Officer
Tel: (613) 237-9462 ext. 559 / Toll Free: 1-877-602-4445 ext. 559
Cell: (613) 863-9001 / E-mail:

The Aboriginal Achievement Program

Antoine Mountain
Guest columnist

Friends ... Once again my thoughts turn to the question of education.

The last time around I said our students of today need whatever extra monies are available to make a real go of doing as well as possible - learning for the future.

I do hope that our present leaders can see their way to re-instating the grants available for the North's future, its students, today's undergrads.One of the present and more pressing problems still has to do with the low number of our native high school graduates here.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Suicide Prevention Underway In Northern Manitoba

Submitted by ruzik_tuzik

New initiatives to enhance suicide prevention activities in the north are now being implemented, Healthy Living Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross and Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Steve Ashton announced here today.

“Last fall, we announced a comprehensive strategy to prevent youth suicide, improve access to mental-health care and provide hope and opportunity to young people,” said Irvin-Ross. “Today, we’re getting a number of the strategy’s initiatives underway to reach out to youth across the north.”
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Changing perceptions

North Bay Nugget

A University of Toronto professor is trying to change the public's perception of aboriginal Canada one student at a time.

Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux, from Georgina Island First Nation in Lake Simcoe, hopes a series of road trips involving native and non-native students will give them a more realistic picture of what life is for aboriginal peoples in Canada.
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Friday, June 12, 2009

Canada Marks First Anniversary of Historic Apology

By Matthew Little
The Epoch Times

OTTAWA, Canada—One year ago Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper stood in Canada's House of Commons and issued a historic apology to Canada's First Nations people for their suffering in the residential school program. On Thursday, the anniversary of the historic apology was marked with a first ever National Day of Reconciliation. Aboriginal people and others from all walks of life came together on Parliament Hill to mark the occasion.

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Alberta First Nation to open centre for at-risk youth

By Gwendolyn Richards, Calgary Herald

CALGARY - A new in-patient treatment centre for aboriginal youth dealing with mental health and addiction issues is set to open next month on the Siksika Nation--one of several initiatives taken on by nation leaders following a cluster of youth suicides more than three years ago.

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Alberta judge says schools should use World Suicide Prevention Day to teach youth

Published Thursday June 11th, 2009
Shannon Montgomery, THE CANADIAN PRESS

CALGARY - In the days before she hanged herself from a beam in the basement of her third foster home, a 15-year-old southern Alberta girl told her sisters and ex-boyfriend that life was no longer worth living.

She held a sharp blade to her wrists and said she "couldn't take it anymore," and later said her death would happen when no one was around to stop her, according to a fatality inquiry report made public Thursday.
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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Manitoba introduces residential school curriculum

by: Rick Garrick/Wawatay News
Manitoba is developing residential school curriculum, including classroom resources which feature personal interviews with survivors, for Grades 9 and 11.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Muslim group donates food to impoverished First Nation

By: Kevin Rollason

A Winnipeg-based Muslim foundation, moved by news of the death of a Garden Hill First Nation baby, has flown a load of food to the remote reserve.

Last night, the Zubaidah Tallab Foundation, created in 2007, flew 450 loaves of bread from City Bread and 240 pounds of chicken bought at a discount from the Clearview Colony to Garden Hill.

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Seal of approval

Europeans response to GG is what's 'too bizarre to acknowledge'

I'm tired of snobby Europeans scolding Canadians for our supposed brutality to baby seals.

And I'm thrilled that Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean stood up to those prissy critics when she chowed down on seal heart in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, this week

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Rock art inspires aboriginal art therapy business

Last Updated: Monday, June 1, 2009
Tina Faiz CBC News

A spontaneous side trip to the historic Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park, 45 minutes southeast of Lethbridge, Alta., became the source of inspiration for Jean Tait's art therapy business.

Jean Tait at her studio in Spruce Grove, Alta., in early May. (Tina Faiz/CBC)Tait, an Edmonton-based aboriginal water-colour artist, was inspired by the thousands of petroglyphs (rock carvings) and pictographs (rock paintings) that cover the ancient sandstone cliffs in the park, known as Áísínai'pi in Blackfoot. It is the largest collection of native rock art in North America.

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Monday, June 8, 2009

Facebook users urged to say 'sorry' for residential schools

By: Arielle Godbout
Winnipeg Free Press

Justin Jaron Lewis is changing his Facebook status to "is sorry" on June 11, and he wants others to join him as he commemorates the first anniversary of the federal government's apology to residential school survivors.

Lewis, an assistant professor with the University of Manitoba's religion department, started a Facebook group whose members pledge to, once a year, use their status on the popular social-networking site as a reminder of the apology.

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Listening to Madness

By Alissa Quart | NEWSWEEK
Published May 2, 2009
From the magazine issue dated May 18, 2009

We don't want to be normal," Will Hall tells me. The 43-year-old has been diagnosed as schizophrenic, and doctors have prescribed antipsychotic medication for him. But Hall would rather value his mentally extreme states than try to suppress them, so he doesn't take his meds. Instead, he practices yoga and avoids coffee and sugar. He is delicate and thin, with dark plum polish on his fingernails and black fashion sneakers on his feet, his half Native American ancestry evident in his dark hair and dark eyes.

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Prince vows to do more to promote awards program in North

CALGARY — From Monday's Globe and Mail, Monday, Jun. 08, 2009 04:11AM EDT

Geraldine Van Bibber has seen many of the troubles that plague young people in the North.

But after a meeting yesterday with Prince Edward, the Commissioner of the Yukon is optimistic that an expansion of an international awards program sponsored by the Royal Family may give residents, particularly aboriginal youngsters, new goals and dreams.

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Reaching out for help as Australian suicides fall

By John Stewart for Lateline
During the past decade the suicide rate among young Australians has almost halved.

It is an extraordinary public health achievement, but one which has received little publicity.

Experts say a massive public education campaign and improvement in the treatment of depression are the key reasons for the success.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Regional youth conference makes stop at G.P. Vanier

Susan Thompson
for Express

Youth from around the region congregated at Georges P. Vanier school on May 27 as part of a five-day regional youth conference.

Students from Ecole Heritage, Ecole Providence, and G.P. Vanier gathered in the Vanier gym to hear speaker Troy Payne talk about how to overcome adversity. They also enjoyed an energetic performance by aboriginal hip hop group the Red Power Squad.

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Monday, June 1, 2009

2009 Report of the Paediatric Death Review Committee and Deaths Under Five Committee released

TORONTO, June 1 /CNW/ - Dr. Bert Lauwers, Deputy Chief Coroner for Investigations and Chair, today announced the release of the combined 2009 Report of the Paediatric Death Review Committee and the Deaths Under Five Committee.
Working under the leadership of the Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario, the purpose of the Paediatric Death Review Committee and the Deaths Under Five Committee is to assist the Office of the Chief Coroner in the investigation and review of deaths of children and to make recommendations to help prevent deaths in similar circumstances.

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SCDSB Hosts Celebration of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Cultures

On June 2, the Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) will be hosting a celebration of First Nation, Métis and Inuit cultures.

What: Celebration of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Cultures
Where: SCDSB Education Centre, Midhurst
When: Tuesday, June 2, 8:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

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