Cynthia Patterson, coordinator for the Anglican Suicide Prevention Program, spoke about the crisis of suicides in many communities. She encouraged people to talk about the problem instead of avoiding it.

“They say it brings you down when you talk about suicide but I really liked what they did today,” said one memory keeper.

Another memory keeper said that this problem was not affecting all communities so some people couldn’t personally identify with the tragedies. However, all people were moved to hear of other members of their Indigenous family suffering—especially in the Arctic and Nunavut, where rates of suicide are among the highest in the world.

The presentation was followed by a powerful healing service, led by the bishops.

“It felt like a shared commodity under the tent,” said a memory keeper. “It was about people who had lost people, people who were dying, and everybody sharing in the healing prayer.”