Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Death, suicide rates among Inuit kids soar over rest of Canada

It is commonplace to have a relative who killed themselves -- this is not an issue unknown to anyone who has spent time in the Arctic:

A new study paints a bleak picture of life – and death – among children and teenagers living in the Inuit Nunangat, the four Arctic regions that make up the Inuit homelands.

Children and teens growing up in the Nunangat are roughly five times more likely to die than their counterparts in the rest of Canada.

They are 11 times more likely to succumb to an infectious or parasitic disease and twice as likely to be killed by a non-communicable one. Their risk of dying from an injury is nearly 11 times higher than children and teenagers in the rest of the country.

But the biggest driver behind the staggeringly higher death rate among Inuit children and teens is suicide. The report, from Statistics Canada's health analysis division, found that the suicide rate among children and teens in the Inuit homelands was 30 times that of youth in the rest of Canada during the five-year period from 2004 to 2008.


The Rat said...

A result of a life with no real hope of improving. Is it a result of keeping our natives "on the reservation"? Should we encourage them to move or, god forbid, assimilate into southern culture? What else can we do for them? We can't make jobs and a future to look forward to magically appear nor can we continually pump money into a system that perpetuates the problem.

Anonymous said...

The rat is right. A continuation of the reservations system is racism.

Who could be so cruel to support this form of apartheid?

Be proactive and call for an end to this nonsense. I suspect some Liberals will weep for another of their lost failed legacies (sigh).

James C Morton said...

Nunavut is not a reservation. It is a Territory with vast resources which are being developed and have great value for Canada -- iron, uranium, gold, diamonds, petro resources.

Anonymous said...

You can call it Disney north for all it matters. If it walks like a duck....

The semantics are appalling.

The Rat said...

James, my quotation marks indicated it's not a reservation but the effect is the same. Isolated communities without jobs or hope of jobs are terrible places to be young. Our governments actively encourage these communities to remain where they are, on their traditional territory despite the glaring fact that they no longer practice the traditional way of life. Maybe things will change when those mines open, if they open, if the local communities don't fight against them like their southern cousins do. Still, if the mine isn't right next to the existing community will these people move or will they continue to demand subsidies from the south to live in a place with no hope?

Anonymous said...

Have you been to one? I doubt it. I grew up in the eastern arctic in one of these communities and it was one of the best places on earth to grow up. Inuit still practice traditional ways and yes the mortality rates are unacceptable but that has more to do with a legacy of trauma and child sexual abuse that began when the missionaries and other colonial forces came here. What is needed is grassroots healing programs that incorporate traditional values and more sports and recreational opportunities for kids

Person 1 - A Enoksiaq said...

Dear Morton, The Rat, Anonymous 1, and Anonymous 2:

The blazing self confidence that you display to comment on the lives of others, with absolutely no context, is truly amazing to me.

Swift recovery Rat, but not too credible. I am allergic to anyone who talks about "our natives". Does anyone talk about "our Ukrainians" or "our Newfoundlanders".

How pompous to pontificate "What else can we do for them?" Tell me what did you do in round one?

Anonymous1: you complain that the current state of affairs is cruel, but you do so only to bolster your own ignorant argument "calling for an end to this nonsense" Stop riding this topic to promote your personal perspective. And how simplistic - what exactly do you propose to stop? underfunding for aboriginal schools? underfunding for health services or for aboriginal children in care? - the numbers show aboriginal children get fewer $$$ than kids in cities - average Canadian kids. I'm with you there - let's stop that nonsense first.

I am also curious what makes Reservations a Liberal legacy? I'd like to see the history book that supports such a partisan rewriting of history. Governments -Liberal and Conservative - since before 1867, created and have held to the "reservation" scheme. The moving finger does not point to the Liberals, it points to us all.

Morton - good to know that all these kids are dying for something of real value - happy to hear that Nunavut has some assets. Might it be worth mentioning any of the human assets?

Thank you Anonymous3 for delivering a dose of reality.

I don't have time to debunk the rest of this rat's nest: line by line you suffer from a lack of logic, failed knowledge of history and a self-serving semantic. Emotional vampires, politicking and scheming over the suffering of others.

Ask yourselves - other than self-promotion what was the goal and likely effect of my writing these words? Was I expecting they would support those in need? sustain the injured families? prevent future deaths? Not what did inspire this writing?

Do northerners need people whining by proxy on our behalf? Do we need the tongue-clucking pity and know-it-all ignorance that this article represents?

Get real or get out.

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