Presentation: Community-based suicide prevention among Inuit in Arctic Canada

24. February 2016 - 14:09 -- Zuzana Scott
Monday, 14. March 2016 - 18:45

Dear students, faculty,

we are pleased to invite you to the presentation by Michael Kral ( on suicide prevention which will take place Monday, March 14th at 18.45 (U32). Presentation is open to everybody, so please feel free to share. More information about the topic below.

Suicide among Inuit youth is at an epidemic level, one of the highest suicide rates in the world. Missionaries, the police, and a fur trade company affected their lives in the first half of the 20th century, however after 1957 the government of Canada took control of everything Inuit. Inuit were moved from their family camps on the land to crowded settlements run by a white government worker, their children were taken away to residential/boarding or day schools, a wage economy was started but with very few jobs poverty was created, and gender roles especially for men changed significantly. When the children sent to these schools began to grow up, they began to use much alcohol and experienced domestic violence. Their children began killing themselves in the 1980s. Suicide is a postcolonial social disorder among Indigenous peoples. The government spent much money on Western suicide prevention for Inuit, but the suicides kept rising. Then something changed. Inuit communities began developing and running their own suicide prevention programs, and the suicides were dropping. These programs were very successful. I will present two community case examples of this, showing how Inuit are reclaiming control over their lives through sovereignty on the ground.