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Advisory group on Aboriginal suicide prevention

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  • Tehaliwaskenhas-Bob Kennedy
    Turtle Island Native Network http://www.turtleisland.org September 21, 2001 News Release Minister Rock and Chief Matthew Coon Come announce the creation of an
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 4, 2001
      Turtle Island Native Network

      September 21, 2001

      News Release
      Minister Rock and Chief Matthew Coon Come announce the creation of an
      advisory group on suicide prevention

      OTTAWA – Health Minister Allan Rock and Assembly of First Nations (AFN)
      National Chief Matthew Coon Come today announced the creation of an
      advisory group on suicide prevention that will make recommendations to
      address the issue of youth suicide among the First Nations in Canada.

      Earlier this year, Minister Rock and National Chief Coon Come agreed to
      convene an advisory group to review previous studies and any
      recommendations that have been made on First Nations youth suicide, and
      suggest short- and long-term strategies. The advisory group members were
      jointly chosen by Health Canada and the AFN.

      Both Health Canada and the AFN are strongly behind the work of the advisory
      group. All members have extensive knowledge and experience in the areas of
      suicide prevention, health promotion and community development with First

      "The high rate of suicide among First Nations youth commands urgent
      attention, and we need the advice of the advisory group to develop
      practical and workable strategies to address this challenge," said Minister
      Rock. "We must find ways to give hope to these young people and their
      families, so that they can make a full contribution to the development and
      growth of their communities."

      "The issue of suicide is a daily matter of tragedy in our communities,"
      added National Chief Matthew Coon Come. "It is critical that we obtain the
      information on this crisis very quickly so that we can then work together
      with the government to define solutions and implement them expeditiously.
      Nothing short of a rapid response to this crisis will do."

      The advisory group will provide concrete, practical and achievable
      recommendations to Minister Rock and National Chief Coon Come in the fall
      of 2001.

      - 30 -

      September 2001

      Advisory group on suicide prevention - member profiles

      Dr. Peter Hettinga

      Dr. Hettinga of Longbow Lake, Ontario is the Acting Manager of Mental
      Health Services at the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch of Health
      Canada for the Manitoba Region. He served as the Assessment Team Leader for
      the Youth Forum on Suicide for the Nishnawbe-Aski Nation, and has worked as
      a mental health therapist and crisis intervenor in many First Nations
      communities. Dr. Hettinga holds a PhD in clinical social work and
      educational psychology from the University of Minnesota, and a masters of
      social work (MSW), with a clinical specialization, from the University of

      Dr. Laurence Kirmayer

      Laurence J. Kirmayer is Professor and Director, Division of Social and
      Transcultural Psychiatry at McGill University and editor in chief of
      Transcultural Psychiatry, a quarterly scientific journal. Dr. Kirmayer also
      directs the Culture and Mental Health Research Unit at the Department of
      Psychiatry, Sir
      Mortimer B. Davis-Jewish General Hospital in Montreal. His research
      includes studies on concepts of mental health and illness in Inuit
      communities, and risk and protective factors for suicide among Inuit youth.

      Mr. Clark MacFarlane

      Mr. MacFarlane of Schumacher, Ontario is sole proprietor of Community
      Solutions, a firm that helps organizations throughout northeastern and
      northwestern Ontario develop and sustain programs and organizations that
      contribute to the well-being of individuals and communities. Before
      establishing Community Solutions, Mr. MacFarlane was a Senior Health
      Planner with the
      Cochrane District Health Council. He was involved in a number of
      initiatives in mental health reform, addiction programs, children's mental
      health, and long term care. Mr. MacFarlane holds an MA in political studies
      from Queen's University, and a masters of social work (MSW) from the
      University of Toronto.

      Dr. Harriet MacMillan

      Dr. MacMillan is Associate Professor in the departments of Psychiatry and
      Behavioural Neurosciences and Pediatrics at McMaster University in
      Hamilton. She also holds associate memberships in McMaster's departments of
      Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Psychology. Since 1993, Dr.
      has been Director of the Child Advocacy and Assessment Program for the
      child abuse service at the Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation. She holds
      an MD from Queen's University, and fellowships from the Royal College of
      Physicians in pediatrics and psychiatry.

      Mr. Bill Mussell

      A member of the Skwah Band at Chilliwack Landing, British Columbia, Mr.
      Mussell is well-known as a consultant and researcher in health, education
      and welfare policy issues concerning indigenous peoples. His background in
      social work, counselling and community development has been applied in
      community restructuring, team building, child welfare, family development,
      leadership development, program evaluations, and curriculum development of
      courses in health, education and corrections. Mr. Mussell is President and
      Chairman of the Native Mental Health Association of Canada, and Manager and
      Educator of the Sal'i'shan Institute Society, a non-profit training
      institute dedicated to the design, delivery and evaluation of health,
      education and welfare programs tailored to meet the needs of indigenous

      Rev. Doreen South (Rodenkirchen)

      Rev. South is a holistic consultant who provides services that promote
      wellness for individuals, families and businesses for healthier
      communities. Through workshops, public speaking and counselling, Rev. South
      shares 32 years of training and experience in stress management, coping
      with change, building
      healthier relationships, self-esteem, and positive imaging. She has served
      on District Health Councils; co-ordinating committees to end violence; been
      a guest speaker at the Native Social Studies program at Carleton
      University; and is currently working with the Akwesasne First Nation
      Traditional Medicine Program. She is also a consultant for Health and
      Community Social Services and the Elected Council of Chiefs.

      Madeline Dion Stout

      Ms. Dion Stout is a Cree speaker from the Kehewin First Nation in Alberta.
      Until July 2001 she taught in the School of Canadian Studies at Carleton
      University where she was also the Director of the Centre for Aboriginal
      Education, Research and Culture. Since 1986, Ms. Dion Stout has worked as a
      health consultant with the Aboriginal community, and has co-authored
      several technical papers on the health development of children, youth and
      women. She holds an MA from the Norman Paterson School of International
      Affairs, Carleton University, and a Bachelor of Nursing degree from the
      University of Lethbridge.

      Dr. Cornelia Wieman

      Dr. Wieman is Canada's first female Aboriginal psychiatrist. A member of
      the Ojibway Nation and originally from the Little Grand Rapids Reserve in
      Northern Manitoba. Dr. Wieman is a graduate of McMaster University medical
      school, where she also completed specialty training in psychiatry. She is
      Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and
      Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster, and was recently appointed as the
      Faculty of Science's Native Students Health Sciences Coordinator. Her
      clinical and academic interests include Aboriginal health and mental health
      issues, mental
      health care delivery to underserviced areas and populations, and the
      residential school survivors syndrome.

      For more on Aboriginal Suicide issues see

      Turtle Island Native Network

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