Year: 2016 Source: 16 p. SIEC No: 20160001

In public discourse in Nunavut on the painful subject of elevated rates of suicide in the territory, one hears a wide range of opinions on the question of Ôwhat was the suicide rate in our society before settlement in communities?Õ Opinions range from ÔInuit never killed themselves before the Qallunaat cameÕ to ÔSuicide is part of our cultureÕ (the suggestion being that historical Inuit society had a high rate of suicide).ÊÊ Greater clarity about suicide behaviour in the past may be helpful because perceptions about the frequency and nature of suicide in historical Inuit society can impact on how people understand suicide behaviour today (i.e. whether suicide behavior today reflects traditional cultural norms). This report presents data from a variety of sources that may help clarify understanding about what we know and donÕt know about the development of elevated rates of suicide in Nunavut in the last 100 years.

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