La Loche Youth Suicide Prevention

In September of 2016 I read an article in Maclean's magazine titled "Bella Bella: The Town that Solved Suicide", and immediately after reading this I made some calls to the school and spoke with the Principal to discuss my visit to the community. I also made arrangements to meet with the current organizers of the successful youth cultural camps, Jessie Houstey and Louisa Annette as well as a Council member Pamela Wilson.

A few weeks later I drove from La Loche, Saskatchewan, at my own expense, all the way to Bella Coola, British Columbia (a place I will never drive to ever again AKA the hill) where I chartered a flight with Bella Coola Air. From the moment we landed we were treated with care and kindness by the people of Bella Bella. I was able to tour the local school, businesses, and agencies where I conducted one on one interviews. Research suggests that cultural continuity is a protective factor against Indigenous youth suicide and this community has proved it. My goal is to bring La Loche youth to one of the camps over the summer and give an opportunity for them to learn about the Heiltsuk Nation while sharing their skills and knowledge about the Dene language and culture. Each youth is responsible for delivering a presentation on the history of the community of La Loche, hunting and gathering techniques, traditional medicines, and the language.

Indigenous youth are literally dying for their culture. Just like La Loche, Bella Bella has had their own dark past with suicide. This remote Coastal community reconnected the youth with the land as a way to address the suicide crisis. This is not only a great learning opporunity for the youth of La Loche, but also for Front Line Workers to bring back this amazing program to Northern Saskatchewan.

La Loche and Bella Bella both have in common deep social issues with no economy but we need to change our story and this is a start. Please support our project.

Donations

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  • Stephanie Frost 
    • 50 $ 
    • 41 mos
  • Tammy Robinson 
    • 50 $ 
    • 42 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • 50 $ 
    • 42 mos
  • Lindsay Lepine 
    • 50 $ 
    • 42 mos
  • jenna dunsby 
    • 25 $ 
    • 42 mos
See all

Organizer

Holly Pamela 
Organizer
La Loche, SK
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