Let Indigenous youth know they are not alone! Take a selfie, write a note, or share a video of encouraging words for northern communities. Post it to social media with hashtag #FindingOurPowerTogether or email it to us!
Indigenous youth in the north may not have access to phones or computers while in isolation. High-risk youth will not have any connection to therapeutic supports or their peers during this time. Click here to help us purchase and deliver devices to youth in the north.
Do you have a skill you would like to share with northern communities? We are looking for folks with a variety of skills to join our growing team. Get in touch today if you would like to get involved! (Currently in most need of mental health support, advocacy, cultural programming, crafts & sewing, various educational programming, website design, fundraising)
We are currently soliciting donations for Nibinamik First Nation to support crisis support costs. Any amount helps. Click here to donate today.
Canadians are collectively experiencing the unprecedented impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has particular impacts on Indigenous communities who have disproportionately high rates of ill-health, social isolation, and suicide. I hope we can immediately put supports in place to ensure that no community member is without appropriate support in this time of global crisis.
Indigenous communities across northern Canada are facing an increase in youth deaths by suicide. Suicide and self-inflicted harm are the leading causes of death for First Nations youth and adults in Canada, with a rate of prevalence 5 to 6 times the national average.
Remote First Nations are living without adequate access to the necessities of wellbeing, are under-resourced, and do not have appropriate infrastructure to support mental health and health-related emergencies. This is without a global health crisis. With the current sanctions on community travel, remote communities will not be able to access critical mental health supports until it is too late. We are already seeing our youth die at an alarming rate due to suicide; I am certain this will only increase as a result of national mitigation measures and further isolation.
Increased funding for online mental health support services such as Kids Help Phone, which can be a pivotal resource for youth, is a step in the right direction. However, in remote First Nations communities, many young people do not have access to internet or phone services. Many may be living in precarious home environments and do not feel safe to call a helpline where others may hear them, or do not have access to a phone at all. Many homes in First Nations communities are overcrowded and pose health risks due to unsafe drinking water and mold. Often, youth find support in educational settings which have now been closed. Most will not have the resources to continue studies online and will suffer greatly without mechanisms to connect with their peers and the outside world. Many youth will not survive this crisis.
Indigenous communities have and continue to face numerous barriers to optimal wellbeing as a result of colonialism. This is now exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. We thank you for your ongoing commitment to supporting Indigenous youth and communities.
If you have any questions or would like to support the community in any way, please contact us using the information provided.