December 1, 2017
SSH…Listen, We Have Something to Say
A special report on the youth suicide crisis in Northern Saskatchewan: Saskatchewan Advocate for Children and Youth
Regrettably, the staggering rate of suicide amongst Indigenous children and youth in Saskatchewan is one indication that change is needed. This picture is appalling, showing that suicide rates in our province are:
- 6 times higher for First Nations boys than non-First Nations boys aged 10 to 19, and
- 26 times higher for First Nations girls than non-First Nations girls of the same age.
A cluster of suicides of six young girls in northern Saskatchewan in October 2016 is further evidence that immediate action is required. Our office is raising alarm bells regarding this situation. Our children deserve better. This project had two objectives.
- Engage with Indigenous youth in northern Saskatchewan to better understand youth suicide from their perspective and to honour and reflect their voice as part of this understanding…it is well established that northern Indigenous communities are especially vulnerable due to their isolation, the travesty of colonial history and the lasting effects of the intergenerational trauma resulting from residential schools.
- Be a platform for the voices of these young people to be heard.
Indigenous youth themselves identifed 6 specific Youth Calls to Action to go along with the 3 recommendations directed at the Government of Saskatchewan and 2 at the Government of Canada.
- Stop Bullying
- Increase positive emotional support in the community
- Address drugs and alcohol in our communities
- Keep us safe
- Provide meaningful and diverse activities for youth
- Help Us