"The diocese of Toronto has given a $100,000-grant to the suicide prevention program of the Council of the North. The council administers the Anglican Church of Canada's mission and ministry in the North, where suicide rates are four to five times higher than the national average. 'The issue of suicide is pandemic in aboriginal communities, [especially] among youth', said Archbishop Johnson, bishop of the diocese of Toronto and metropolitan of the ecclesiastical province of Ontario. 'Money won't cure it', but programs 'that have some history of making a difference are worth supporting', he told the 'Anglican Journal'." "The unrestricted grant is a tithe from the diocese's Ministry Allocation Fund (MAF). Proceeds from the sale of the diocese's properties go to the MAF which allocated 10 per cent of the proceeds to support innovative ministry 'beyond the diocese', said Archbishop Johnson".
"Suicide is 'not an easy tea and cookie conversation', Cynthia Patterson told a gathering of about 200 indigenous Anglicans at the Seventh Sacred Circle. However, she added, the pandemic among aboriginal people can no longer be ignored. In Nunavut, the suicide rate is 15 times the national average -- which is 15 per 100,000 people. In the Arctic, it is 11 times the national average. Families need to talk about suicide instead of sweeping it under the rug, said Patterson. 'We have kids, aunts and uncles who die and the pain is so great .. We don't talk about them .. It's as if they've disappeared'. For its part, the Anglican church has moved oversight of the suicide-prevention program to the indigenous ministry department, noted Patterson. The aim is to 'extend its reach into every nook and cranny', said National Indigenous Anglican Bishops Mark MacDonald. Suicide prevention will now be part of training for clergy, catechists and other church workers, he told the Journal". [Text of entire article.]
"Proceeds from the recent 'Amazing Grace' project, which captured the interest of Anglicans across Canada and raised more than $91,000 for the Council of the North, will go towards the establishment of a suicide prevention program with paid staff". "The council intends to hire a part-time suicide prevention co-ordinator by Sept. 1  who will lay the foundation for the program. The co-ordinator will be hired for a two-year contract and will work out of the synod office of a council member diocese".
"In response to the suicide crisis affecting some native communities in western Canada and the Arctic, the Anglican Church of Canada's indigenous ministries department has appointed a new suicide prevention co-ordinator for that region. The Rev. Nancy Bruyere, a non-stipendiary priest in the diocese of Keewatin, has been named to the position. Bruyere is associate priest at Christ Church Sagkeeng First Nation in Fort Alexander, and also serves in Little Black River First Nation, Hollow Water First Nation and Manitgotagan -- all in Manitoba". "Suicide and self-inflicted injuries are the top causes of death in Canada for First Nations youth and adults up to age 44, according to Health Canada. Aboriginal youth commit suicide about five to six times more often than non-aboriginal youth".
"There were many lonely moments for Patrick Etherington Jr., 28, as he walked the 2,200 kilometres from Cochrane, Ont., to Halifax. Etherington, a member of the Moose Cree First Nation, made the trip with his father Patrick, Sr., and a group of five companions made up of residential school survivors and their children". "'There is a big problem of suicide in my community', Etherington said. 'I walked for my buddies [who committed suicide] and for those who have attempted it'." "Etherington's father, Patrick Etherington Sr., organized this walk. He said it was important to have the youth participate to raise awareness about the 'survivors of survivors' -- the children and grandchildren of survivors who were raised by traumatized parents. 'This can't go any further', he said. 'The cycle has to end now'. Last summer, the Etheringtons walked from Cochrane, Ont. to Winnipeg for the first TRC National Event, held Jun. 16-19, 2010. The trip took 31 days and covered 1,600 kilometres".