We are Anglicans in northern Canada—collectively known as “Council of the North”—and we have launched the Suicide Prevention Program to respond to this tragedy in our communities.
This program is rooted in the strength of the scriptures and guided by the principle of self-determination. We learn and teach about suicide prevention so we can become informed and be effective partners in developing and implementing community-based suicide prevention strategies.
Ours is not a “one size fits all” approach. We help communities discern which prevention programs are best for them. Networks of lay and ordained volunteers are already being trained and supported in accessible suicide prevention programs, based in Indigenous culture.
We do our work in partnership with tribal councils, governments, health and social service agencies, community groups, and faith groups. Our national partners include the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention and the Centre for Suicide Prevention, which offers the River of Life online training program. In the future, we hope to forge partnerships with urban Indigenous ministries.