16 July 2007


I thought the story that led off this Globe and Mail story about native suicide rates was telling:

Rebekah Williams was a young Inuit girl growing up high above the Arctic Circle when word spread across the tundra that a man in another community had killed himself.

"We still talk about this," said the 57-year-old former social worker and Nunavut MLA who now lives in Iqaluit, the territory's capital city. "Things like that just didn't happen. Our people didn't do this."

Less than 50 years later, Nunavut has, by far, the highest suicide rate in the country, sometimes reaching nine times the national average.

Since the territory, which has a mainly Inuit population of 30,000, was created in 1999, 40 per cent of deaths investigated by the coroner's office were suicides. Many of the 222 suicide victims were young, Inuit and male.

Check 'er out.

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