Indigenous Success Stories: Inuit

February 23, 2022

National Inuit Suicide Prevention Strategy

Inuit Tapariit Kanatami – Inuit did not, historically, suffer from disproportionately high rates of suicide. It is a public health crisis in Inuit Nunangat that can and must be prevented. The high rates of suicide in Inuit Nunangat are a symptom of the social and economic inequities that have existed between Inuit Nunangat and most other regions of Canada since Inuit began to be impacted by colonization and transition off the land into permanent settlements.
Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami’s top priority, as we identified in our 2016-2019 Strategy and Action Plan, is to take action to prevent suicide among Inuit.

The specific objectives and actions ITK will take to prevent suicide among Inuit fall within six priority areas:

  1. creating social equity,
  2. creating cultural continuity,
  3. nurturing healthy Inuit children from birth,
  4. ensuring access to a continuum of mental wellness services for Inuit,
  5. healing unresolved trauma and grief, and
  6. mobilizing Inuit knowledge for resilience and suicide prevention.

March 4, 2020

Project CREATeS

Inuit Circumpolar CouncilCREATeS Is an Arctic Council Sustainable Development Working Group’s initiative which focuses on suicide prevention among Indigenous youth in the circumpolar north.

The next CREATeS (Circumpolar Resilience Engagement and Action Through Story) project iteration is Local2Global. By supporting Project CREATeS’ innovative social media campaign, the Government of Canada wants to raise awareness of the ongoing and important conversation about mental health and wellness, as told in a series of informational videos produced by Indigenous youth from Canada and beyond.

Approximately $240,000 has been invested over two fiscal years (2017-19) by Canada’s Circumpolar Directorate, to support the Sustainable Development Working Group’s CREATeS Project. In addition, in 2020, $170,000 has been allocated for Local 2 Global. The Arctic Council’s Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG) has been supporting projects related to suicide prevention and mental health in the Arctic for over a decade. Canada, as a member of the SDWG, has been an important leader in this work.

We are proud and honoured to have the opportunity to the share powerful stories told by Indigenous youth in the videos they produced as part of Project CREATeS. The SDWG is committed to continuing this work. Our newest initiative, Local2Global, will build on this important work.”
Stefán Skjaldarson, Chair of the Arctic Council Sustainable Development Working Group