The video above gives voice to the deep and complex connections between colonization, culture loss, and health disparities in Northwest Alaska's Inupiat communities. In this region, indigenous youth suicide rates have risen from nonexistent in public record to 17 times the national average in the past 60 years, constituting an emergent health crisis consistently linked in public discourse to the rapid and imposed social changes wrought by colonization. Understanding suicide as a ‘wild problem’ with deep-running colonial roots, it is imperative that suicide prevention efforts incorporate decolonization approaches in tandem with best practices from research to effectively address the issue on individual, community, and cultural levels.
References to support learning circle 1: Where We've Been, Where We're Going:
Wexler L. Inupiat youth suicide and culture loss: Changing community conversations for prevention. Social Science & Medicine. 2006;63(11):2938-2948. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953606003868
Chandler MJ, Lalonde CE. Cultural continuity as a protective factor against suicide in first nations youth. Horizons. 2008;10(1):68-72.
Thira D. Aboriginal youth suicide prevention: a post-colonial community-based approach. International Journal of Child, Youth and Family Studies. 2014;5(1):158-179