Friday, November 27, 2009

Health : Inuit Health System Must Move Past Suicide Prevention To “Unlock A Better Reality,” Conference Told

November 25, 2009

Inuit communities have been dysfunctional for the past 30 to 50 years, with suicide now touching “each and every one of us,” but this must not be accepted as normal, attendees at the National Aboriginal Health Association conference in Ottawa were told yesterday.

“We all have brothers, sisters and friends who have died by suicide,” Natan Obed, director of social and cultural development for Nunavut Tunngavit Inc., which represents beneficiaries of the Nunavut Land Claim Agreement, told the opening session at the three-day conference. “But I contend that our people [in the past] had a low death by suicide rate. It is not our fate in life to be at risk.”

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