Emergency Elders Gathering on Youth Suicide – UPDATE

Thunder Bay -The Grassroots Elders began Talks on Youth Suicide in December 2017 in Sioux Lookout, Ontario. “This is no Power Struggle.  It’s Real.  It starts from the beginning. Talk about the problems, like alcohol, drugs, the intergenerational trauma of Residential Schools, domestic violence, then we talk about the Solutions.  “We need identity, connection, love, and purpose,” Edna Skunk says with conviction in her voice.”

“It is about teaching our kids about these things..fishing, living off the land, the stories of the earth, and sky.”  The differences in the seasons on how we utilize the Land. A second Gathering has been scheduled for Days Inn in Sioux Lookout, Ontario on April 3, 4, 5, 2018″, added Skunk.

In a statement issued by the organizers, “In Response to the Public Interest on the Grassroots Emergency Elders Gathering here is the Elders Working Group Public Statement.

“Planning commenced with the Call Out by Temius Nate, Eabematoong Frist Nations & James Bottle, Mishkeegogamang Ojibwa Nation in late November 2017.

“On December 5, 6, 7, 2017, the Emergency Elders Gathering on Youth Suicide took place in Sioux Lookout Ontario at the Days Inn.  The First 2 days hosted uninterrupted Elders Dialogue on Suicide with Respect to its impacts on our Respective Elders Communities.  The third day was a Generated Planning Session on Suicide Prevention Dialogue and Recommendations.  The call out to Elders generated a high number of interests because over one hundred Elders expressed interest to attend.  64 confirmed their participation.  thirty-eight successfully travelled through the December winter storm.  On December 7, 2017, a preliminary draft report and its Recommendations were completed which will be successfully sent to Respective First Nations & Front Line Services Agencies.  As a result of this meeting, the Elders formulated a GrassRoots Elders Working Group Committee whose Role is to assist in the Grassroots Elders with respect to Planning the Second Meeting in addition to further tasks as Directed by the Elders with Respect to Suicide Prevention.

“The first two days hosted uninterrupted Elders dialogue on suicide with respect to its impacts on our respective Elders communities.

“The third day was a Generated Planning Session on Suicide Prevention Dialogue and Recommendations.

“The call out to Elders generated a high number of interests because over one hundred Elders expressed interest to attend.  Sixty-four confirmed their participation.  thirty-eight successfully traveled through the December winter storm.  On December 7, 2017, a preliminary draft report and its Recommendations were completed which will be successfully sent to Respective First Nations & Front Line Services Agencies.  As a result of this meeting, the Elders formulated a GrassRoots Elders Working Group Committee whose Role is to assist in the Grassroots Elders with respect to Planning the Second Meeting in addition to further tasks as Directed by the Elders with Respect to Suicide Prevention.”

The Findings:

The Suicide impacts include the following:

-Childhood                   -Trauma                      -Abandonment

Loneliness                    -Violence                     -Loss of Identity

-Family Breakdown     -Sexual Abuse             -Loss of Community

-Loss of Language       -Loss of Connection Land

“The results of this meeting indicated a second meeting of Elders which will take place on April 3, 4, 5, 2018 in Sioux Lookout, Ontario at the Day Inn Hotel. This second session is to bring together a plan of action of Elders to Promote Awareness and Prevention of Suicide.  In Addition to Past Present Knowledge and Exchange of Information.  An opportunity for collaboration of Elders with the Forensic Pathologist for the Province of Ontario will be commencing during this Second Emergency Elders Gathering.

“We Welcome Respective Territory Elders and Agency Elders to attend this Gathering.”

First Meeting Discussion