Dying to Please You: Indigenous Suicide in Contemporary Canada

Mar 12, 2016, 09:36 PM

Ronald D Chrisjohn BSc (Central Michigan), MA, PhD (Western Ontario)

Since at least 1977 there has been unquestionable proof that, depending on age, region, and other demographic factors, indigenous peoples in Canada have suicide rates anywhere between three and ten times the rates for non-indigenous Canadians. As a consequence, there has been since that time at least a moderate interest in mainstream Canada, both bureaucratically and academically, not only to explain this difference but to supply interventions into Native centers that will ameliorate this disparity.

It is our contention that the existing work ostensibly aimed at resolving the "problem of Native suicide" has been less than useless, in that, not only does it promote a factually and scientifically specious understanding of the issues, it is a continuation and extension of the assault responsible in the first place. Our charge is grounded in the principles and origins of modern suicidology itself, while the traction that oppressive, victim-blaming explanations and interventions have received in even supposed radical-liberal literature is traced to the forces currently destroying everyone's... not just Indian's... worlds.

Audio Source; http://fromthemargins.h-a-z.org/podcast/?p=episode&name=2014-06-27dyingtopleaseyou_full.mp3

Roland Chrisjohn & Shaunessy McKay are the co-authors of a forthcoming book of the same title as this presentation: Dying to Please You: Indigenous Suicide in Contemporary Canada