Alberta child advocate wants suicide prevention for aboriginal youth

Alberta's child advocate is calling on the province to fund a suicide prevention strategy to tackle what he calls a "terrible trend of aboriginal youth suicide."

EDMONTON — Alberta’s child advocate is calling on the province to fund a suicide prevention strategy to tackle what he calls a “terrible trend of aboriginal youth suicide.”

Del Graff says the plan must be led by communities and recognize aboriginal values and cultural practices.

The ideas are among 12 recommendations listed in a report released by Graff.

It looks at the lives of seven aboriginal teens who were involved with social services and killed themselves between June 2013 and December 2014.

It says the teens all experienced early childhood trauma from exposure to domestic violence, parental addictions or parental mental-health issues.

Graff says it’s time for change and action.

“It cannot be denied that a troubling picture has taken shape when it comes to aboriginal youth,” Graff writes in the report.

“It is my heartfelt hope that this report spurs governments, communities and community leaders to think differently about aboriginal youth suicide and take decisive action to address it.”

Earlier this month, a state of emergency was declared on the remote Attawapiskat reserve in northern Ontario after a spate of suicide attempts.

The Pimicikamak Cree Nation in Manitoba, known as Cross Lake, also declared a state of emergency in March. Its chief has said 100 children are on a suicide watch list on the reserve.

Graff’s report says aboriginal youths are five to six times more likely to be affected by suicide than the general population.

Just Posted

Red Deer songwriter draws on winter, childhood to write Games closing ceremonies song

Kayla Williams is excited to perform ‘Something Right’ March 2 at the Centrium.

House in Calgary destroyed in fire following apparent explosion, officials say

CALGARY — A house was destroyed when a fire broke out following… Continue reading

Historic win for Team Nunavut at Canada Winter Games

Four years in the making boiled down to a collection of firsts… Continue reading

Alberta missionaries among the Canadians heading home from riot-stricken Haiti

MONTREAL — A group of Canadian missionaries who were trapped in Haiti… Continue reading

Historic win for Team Nunavut at Canada Winter Games

Four years in the making boiled down to a collection of firsts… Continue reading

South African activists try to protect endangered pangolins

JOHANNESBURG — As World Pangolin Day is marked around the globe, Saturday,… Continue reading

Fourteen ‘dream’ homes ordered evacuated as sinkholes open in Sechelt, B.C.

Greg and Gerry Latham spent Friday morning scrambling to pack up family… Continue reading

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual assault: British newspaper

LONDON — A British newspaper says police in London are investigating an… Continue reading

Graham: U.S. should be stronger on Canadians detained in China

MUNICH — U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham said Friday the response by the… Continue reading

Conservative leaders to attend pro-pipeline rally in Saskatchewan

By Stephanie Taylor THE CANADIAN PRESS MOOSOMIN, Sask. — Federal Tory leader… Continue reading

Games athletes making themselves at home at RDC

Red Deer College’s campus will be home for the athletes during the 2019 Canada Winter Games

Alix resident captures beams of light near Lacombe

Lacombe, Blackfalds, Red Deer photos have since gone viral around the world

Welcome message from the mayor

On behalf of Red Deer city council, the City of Red Deer… Continue reading

Most Read