Year: 2018 Source: [S.l.]: Canadian Federation of Medical Students, [n.d.]. 12 p. SIEC No: 20180376

Canada’s Indigenous population, including First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people, comprises 4.3% of the general population. Despite representing a fraction of the population, the suicide rate among Indigenous youth aged 15-24 is 5 to 6 times the rate seen in the general Canadian population; this rate is especially high among Inuit youth, at 11 times the national average.(1,2) Suicide and self-inflicted injury is the leading cause of death among First Nation youth aged 15-24, whereas in the general youth population it is accidental death.(2) An example which speaks to the urgency of this issue is the number of suicide attempts in northern communities, such as in the Attawapiskat First Nation in Ontario. In April 2016, the Attawapiskat First Nation declared a state of emergency for the escalating problem of youth suicide in this region. Local and relief health care workers responding to the situation were overwhelmed by this public health crisis.(3)  Suicide among Indigenous youth in Canada is a nationwide crisis that has been brought to public attention not only by recent media coverage, but also declarations from individual communities, and is apparent in national statistics dating back more than a decade.(1,2)  Despite this, Indigenous communities have and continue to display resilience as shown through various community-led suicide prevention initiatives.