THUNDER BAY – Known for weaving messages of hope into her songs, Inuk singer and songwriter Susan Aglukark has just announced that all sales proceeds from her single Take a Little Less will be donated to the Collateral Damage Project, a national not-for-profit organization that works to prevent suicide.
“Susan’s generosity and unwavering dedication to suicide prevention is truly humbling,” said Scott Chisholm, founder of the Collateral Damage Project. “For the past year, Susan has worked tirelessly as one of the project’s advisory board members by taking the stage at fundraising concerts, encouraging global influencers to join our cause and targeting federal-level leaders to recognize suicide as a public issue and, ultimately, save lives.”
Chisholm’s original plan for the Collateral Damage Project, as a coffee table-style book depicting stories and photos of those left behind by a loved one’s suicide, was developed in 2009, 27 years after he lost his father to suicide. Today, the project has grown to include a touring exhibition (recent stops include The Craig Gallery in 2010 and Nova Scotia Community College in 2011), a number of annual fundraising events and local, national and international speaking appearances by Chisholm and his advisory board members.
As one of Canada’s most hailed artists, the Nunavut-raised Aglukark is a three-time Juno award winner and a recipient of both the Order of Canada (2005) and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012).
“Every dollar donated from the sale of Take a Little Less will go towards Scott’s vision of taking this project right across our country, stopping in each province and territory and sharing our collective message of hope,” said Aglukark. “Music has been a way for me to give a voice to the silent struggles of my people and to create hope for a better tomorrow.”
According to statistics from Health Canada, suicide rates amongst Inuit youth are amongst the highest in the world, at nearly 11 times the national average. In addition, First Nations youth are five to seven times more likely to commit suicide than a non-Aboriginal youth.
Produced in 2006 off Aglukark’s Blood Red Earth album, Take a Little Less may be downloaded from the iTunes store for $0.99.
For more information about the Collateral Damage Project or to get involved, visit www.leftbehindbysuicide.org, call 1-888-835-9041, send a tweet (@SuicideTalk) or click “like” on Facebook (Collateral Damage: Images of Those Left Behind by Suicide). To learn more about Susan Aglukark, visit www.susanaglukark.com.