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Al Jazeera English published this video item, entitled “🇨🇦 Has Canada failed its First Nations people? | The Stream” – below is their description.
In Canada, suicide is the leading cause of death for First Nations youth and adults up to 44 years of age. Shockingly, Indigenous people die by suicide at three times the rate of their non-Indigenous counterparts – with women and young people disproportionately impacted.
A 2020 report published by British Columbia’s Representative for Children and Youth, Dr. Jennifer Charlesworth, claimed that one third of all deaths reported for First Nations children are a result of suicide. It is a tragic and long-standing issue that gained global attention in 2016 when Canada’s Attawapiskat First Nation saw over 100 suicide attempts (in a community of only two thousand people) within four months.
Historically, suicide and self-harm was said to be a rare occurrence amongst First Nations and Inuit people, however, after contact with Europeans and the subsequent effects of colonialism, it became a prevalent issue.
On this episode of The Stream, we ask – why suicide rates are so high and why the Canadian government fails to put this issue at the forefront of its national health policies.
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In This Story: Canada
Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. It extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres (3.85 million square miles), making it the world’s second-largest country by total area.
Its southern and western border with the United States, stretching 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi), is the world’s longest bi-national land border. Canada’s capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.
Various Indigenous peoples inhabited what is now Canada for thousands of years before European colonization. The Canada Act 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British Parliament. Canada is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy in the Westminster tradition, with a monarch and a prime minister who serves as the chair of the Cabinet and head of government.
As a highly developed country, Canada has the seventeenth-highest nominal per-capita income globally as well as the thirteenth-highest ranking in the Human Development Index. Its advanced economy is the tenth-largest in the world, relying chiefly upon its abundant natural resources and well-developed international trade networks.