The Seventh Generation Project
Who we are and what we’re trying to do
For over 20 years, the suicide rates in some Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) communities have remained up to 40 times the national average. Yet other NAN communities have rates BELOW the national average, or there are NO suicides.
Community leaders and members, researchers, and very importantly, young people themselves, have been working hard to address the situation of high suicide rates with a growing number of initiatives and creative approaches.
However, despite some successes, a high number of suicides continue to devastate much of the tightly-knit NAN region. But why are some communities seemingly immune, while others experience many suicides? Can one community’s successes be shared with another one less fortunate?
Several community members and young people contacted the children’s social action group Voices for Children (VOICES) to talk about all of the positive initiatives—many of them youth-led—that are happening in NAN, and to ask for support in building on the successes of this work.
Through the Seventh Generation Project, VOICES is committed to working with NAN community members and initiatives like the Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Campaign and the NAN Decade for Youth and Development Council to bring youth, communities, service providers, researchers and others together to create and share strategies that:
- Ensure that young people in the north have an active role in identifying and shaping their own solutions to suicide
- Ensure that individuals making decisions about NAN’s young people have a clear understanding of the challenges and triumphs of life in the remote north
- Individuals, organizations and communities can carry out themselves