Thursday, July 30, 2009

Gathering helpful to Native youth

Suicide prevention one part of annual event
Posted By Xavier Kataquapit , For The Daily Press

ELK LAKE — Trent Agawa of Brunswick House First Nation is feeling good about himself these days. He claims he owes much of that to his participation in workshops at the third-annual Wabun Youth Gathering.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Laurier student role model for native youth

Posted By MICHELLE RUBY, Expositor Staff

Laurier Brantford student Alicia Sayers will spend the next year travelling the country, acting as a role model for aboriginal youth.

The third-year journalism and contemporary studies student was chosen by the National Aboriginal Health Organization to be one of 12 role models.

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Friday, July 24, 2009

Vancouver Island's Shawn Atleo sworn in as national chief

By Judith Lavoie, Times Colonist, with files from Canwest News Service

British Columbia's first national chief for more than three decades was sworn in yesterday to cheers, chanting and drumming at the Assembly of First Nations convention in Calgary and Shawn Atleo immediately called for unity after the hard-fought election.

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Nova Scotia native communities reel from high suicide rates

Eskasoni Band councillor Leroy Denny is hesitant to even talk about the subject.

There’s no question, it’s a highly sensitive one -- the Nova Scotia native community’s recent struggles with suicides and drug overdoses among its younger members.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Enjoy blogging? Feeling creative? The HLN wants to hear from you!

Do you like to blog? Would you like to contribute to the Honouring Life Network? We are looking for First Nations, Inuit and Métis youth (30 and under) to submit creative writing pieces that could be featured on the HLN’s Youth Corner and/or the HLN Newsfeed!

What does an HLN contributor do?

Although the HLN focuses on youth suicide prevention, we believe that any social or personal issue you are passionate about should be shared with your peers. If you do not enjoying blogging but believe that you have an important message, we also accept poems, stories, pieces of artwork, and short videos.

If you have creative writing experience, great! If you don’t, that’s okay too. We are more interested in your dedication and passion than anything else. Whether or not you want to be recognized for your work is up to you. If you would prefer to stay behind the scenes then you may withhold your name and it will not be published. Alternatively, if you want some recognition for your work by including your name, you may also include a photo of yourself!

How do you do it?

It’s easy. You can email submissions to where they will be reviewed by an HLN team member. If appropriate, it will be published in the Youth Corner on the HLN Web site. It is as easy as that!

If you have any further questions check out the Web site or give us a call 1-877-602-4445.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

We must overcome suicide epidemic among aboriginal youth

**Editor's note: This is an article that was published on back in February, 2009. If I could rewrite this article, I would have avoided using the term "epidemic" in this article. In fact, everything that I publish (including the information published on the HLN) avoids describing Aboriginal youth suicide rates as an epidemic. Instead, I would describe this situation as a crisis.

By Megan Schellenberg

I recently met a man of aboriginal decent by the name of Arnold W. Thomas who was at a First Nations youth suicide-prevention conference in Saskatchewan. Mr. Thomas is a renowned public speaker, the CEO of his own company, and travels around North America and Europe to discuss the value of life and the triumph of overcoming an attempted suicide. When he was just 18 years old, he attempted suicide by bringing a hunting rifle to his chin and pulling the trigger. While he is now blind and has visible scars from the incident, he carries himself with confidence. The message he promotes is just as powerful—and rightly so.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Introducing the First Online Aboriginal Youth Suicide Prevention Training Program

Calgary, Alberta (PRWEB) July 20, 2009 -- The Centre for Suicide Prevention in partnership with Millbrook Technologies, the Canadian Mental Health Association and Aboriginal Leadership across the country are pleased to present the first ever national culturally-based suicide prevention online training program. The program called River of Life is designed to enhance the capacity of First Nations to implement suicide intervention, prevention and postvention approaches.

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Child welfare's new champions

Published Monday July 20th, 2009
One of the most basic Canadian values is the belief that children should be given every opportunity to grow. This precept has informed public policy in health care, education and social development, and it was at the root of the Equal Opportunity reforms introduced by New Brunswick premier Louis J. Robichaud.
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AFN Resolution Fights Suicide

Thunder Bay, ON -- A resolution has been tabled to ensure First Nation Communities are well equipped to implement youth suicide prevention strategies based on cultural specific content. The resolution to adopt the River of Life National Online Suicide Prevention Certificate Course will be voted on at the upcoming Assembly of First Nations Annual General Meeting in Calgary on July 23rd. Click here to read more>>

Thursday, July 16, 2009

First Nations child welfare services in N.B. to be studied

CBC News
A former federal Indian Affairs minister and a provincial court judge will head a committee exploring the state of child welfare services in New Brunswick's First Nations communities.

Former Fredericton MP Andy Scott and provincial court Judge Graydon Nicholas were named Thursday as co-chairmen of the committee.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Northern aboriginal suicide rate lower in Norway: researcher

CBC News
Research suggests suicide rates among the Sami, the indigenous peoples of Norway, are lower than among other northern aboriginal groups.

Anne Silviken, a psychologist with the Center for Sami Health Research in Norway, found the suicide rate among the Sami is about 19 per 100,000.

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Indian Residential School Survivor Committee Poised to Begin its Work

TRC Fully Equipped to Move Forward

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 15, 2009) - The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians, today announced the establishment of an Indian Residential School Survivor Committee.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

TOM FLETCHER: Self-government is good for you

What’s the rush to find a new, simplified way to reconcile aboriginal land claims in B.C.?

Dr. Perry Kendall, our articulate provincial health officer, offers some answers in the most detailed study of aboriginal health yet attempted here

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Cyclist dreams of opening dialogue about suicide, depression

Posted 6 days ago

Ben Verboom, 20, has a dream.

He wants to get people talking about suicide and depression, and he's cycling across Canada to make that dream happen.
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Government of Canada Supports Aboriginal Youth in Cape Breton

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

ESKASONI, NS, June 26 /CNW/ - Representatives from the Government of Canada and the Eskasoni First Nation community joined today to celebrate the official opening of the Eskasoni Crisis and Referral Center. The project was developed by the Eskasoni First Nation, the largest Mi'kmaq community in Atlantic Canada. The 4-bed project provides on-site counselling services for Aboriginal youth at risk.

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Molina Healthcare honors unsung heroes

By Staff reports

Story Published: Jun 18, 2009

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Molina Healthcare of New Mexico recently recognized eight unsung heroes at its first Community Champions Awards, including Doreen Smith, a college student from Laguna Pueblo.

Smith, a student at New Mexico State University, received the Outstanding Student/Youth Award for her work as a youth spokesperson who presents on teen suicide on a local, national and international level. As a Native American, it is a topic close to her heart because of the disproportionally high rates of depression and suicide found in Native American teens.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

HLN hosts new media focus group

Last weekend, the Honouring Life Network (HLN) was invited to give a brief presentation on how new media and social networking has been imperative to the success of the program (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Google) to a group of First Nations Inuit and Métis youth from across Canada. Jumping on this opportunity, I recognized that I had the chance to engage these youth in a focus group for an upcoming project of mine (that I am really excited about). This pilot project will involve the development of a dynamic, new media tool that hopes to include; interviews with youth and community members; an interactive tool that addresses healthy lifestyle choices; and supplementary information on youth suicide prevention in First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.

On the day of the event, the turn-out didn't seem like it would be overly promising due to some miscommunication and flight delays. Fortunately, my colleague had organized a meeting beforehand with some very enthusiastic youth who wanted to participate in the discussion (albeit they were hungry and there was free pizza, but hey, I'll take it!). In total, I had eight youth participate in the focus group from across the country.

I first asked if they knew of any Aboriginal-specific programs that addressed suicide prevention amongst youth in their communities. The response was a unanimous, "No" which (unfortunately) really didn't come as much of a surprise. A few participants said they knew of non-Aboriginal specific programs, which didn't surprise me either. The reality is that we– both Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals– have been really slow in implementing suicide prevention programs that can meet the needs of First Nations, Inuit and Métis youth.

It was when I began asking about the use of new media in suicide prevention that ideas and opinions started to flow. I heard about the benefits and challenges of using new media technologies in remote and urban communities, in which there are many. I also heard about where they are getting their health-related information, and I must admit that some of their responses were very surprising (even as a youth myself). All in all, the focus group was successful and I was able to get a lot of valuable feedback for this project.

Aside from all the project-related information that I took away from this session, I was overwhelmed with the capacity in which my peers are ready to take on these mediums of communication. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter have the ability to reach First Nations, Inuit and Métis youth at unprecedented proportions. As consumers, are constantly overloaded with pessimistic statistics and cynical stories coming from mainstream media about this demographic, but it is through these tools that Aboriginal youth are using their voice to gain strength and take back their right to be heard. That in itself makes me excited about our ability to overcome Aboriginal youth suicide using a collective, influential and positive voice...even if it is only 140 characters at a time.



UNICEF Canada Report on Aboriginal Children's Health Shows Disparities Between Aboriginal Children and National Averages...

UNICEF Canada Report on Aboriginal Children's Health Shows Disparities Between Aboriginal Children and National Averages a Major Children's Right Challenge

Health of First Nations, Inuit and Metis Children Well Below National Averages

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 24, 2009) - UNICEF Canada is marking the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child with the release today of a report called Aboriginal Children's Health: Leaving No Child Behind- the Canadian Supplement to State of the World's Children 2009.

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A burden of poor health: Report focuses on health of aboriginal children in Canada

Paul Bickford
Northern News Services
Published Monday, July 6, 2009

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - A national report has focused a light on the disturbing state of health among aboriginal children across Canada.

However, the report's findings do not come as a shock in the NWT

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Prince Rupert Pilot Engages At-risk, Vulnerable Youth

For Immediate Release
July 3, 2009

Ministry of Children and Family Development
PRINCE RUPERT – A community-based crime prevention pilot program designed to support local youth at-risk of – or engaged in – criminal behaviour is being launched today at the grand opening of a newly created youth hub, announced Children and Family Development Minister Mary Polak.
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Monday, July 6, 2009

New Training Simulation Increases Faculty Skill in Identifying Students who are At-Risk for Suicide

Results from a national study conducted in 42 leading universities in the U.S. revealed thatAt-Risk, a web-based, interactive training simulation that uses educational gaming technology,increases the willingness and skill of faculty and staff to identify and refer students exhibitingsings of mental distress, such as depression, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide. Read more by clicking here

'This Is How They Tortured Me'

Jacqueline Windh and Alfred Hendricks
July 6, 2009Most of us know there was a time in Canada when aboriginal children where taken from their homes, their families and communities, and forced to attend residential schools.

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Amid the grim statistics, a journey of change begins

Justine Hunter

Maggie Chorney was sitting in a pronounced slouch, text-messaging someone throughout a brief interview. She didn't need to use her words to communicate how little she wanted to answers questions about her future.

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'She had a million-dollar smile'

By: Bruce Owen and Arielle Godbout

WINNIPEG — Cherisse Houle tried to turn her life around, but in the end some fear the ways of the street may have caught up to her, adding her name and face to the long list of missing and murdered aboriginal women in Manitoba.

The RCMP said Friday the body of a woman found Thursday in the Rural Municipality of Rosser by a backhoe operator had been identified as Houle. The 17-year-old had been reported missing to Winnipeg police on June 26

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Friday, July 3, 2009

Poverty And Cultural Loss Are Some Of The Essential Causes Of The Health Gap Between Indigenous And Non-Indigenous People

Written by Stephanie Brunner (B.A.)

The second of two reviews in this week´s The Lancet discusses the primary origins of the health gap. In an effort to understand these inequalities, the authors attempt to give an Indigenous perspective

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The not-so-hidden history of Canada

Melissa Chungfat

Yesterday I went to check out some of the Canada Day events with a friend on Granville Island and in downtown. As we do every year, we wore our crazy Canada hats attracting attention among locals and tourists.

Towards the end of the day, we passed a man who wished us a “happy Native oppression day.” I replied, “I agree with you.”

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Who Let the Dogs Out?

Palm Island after the inquest into an death in custody
Chloe Hooper

In video recordings of Cameron Doomadgee's funeral, hundreds of Palm Islanders walk with his coffin on the narrow road from the island's Catholic church to the cemetery. The journey is several kilometres and the sun blisteringly hot. At the front of the procession is Doomadgee's 15-year-old son, Eric, small for his age, holding a white wooden cross to place on his father's grave.

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