The Australia Youth Delegation arose out of Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler’s participation as international keynote speaker in the Indigenous Mental Health and Wellbeing Forum in Perth, Australia (February 21st – 23rd, 2018). During this event, conference organizers extended an invitation to NAN youth for the upcoming conference on Indigenous suicide prevention taking place November 21st – 24th, 2018 in Perth, Australia, where a youth summit will coincide with the main conference.
Discussions at the Indigenous Mental Health and Wellbeing Forum, as well as Grand Chief Fiddlers’ discussions with Indigenous leaders in the field of mental health and suicide prevention, revealed many similarities between the experiences of Indigenous youth in NAN Territory and Australian Indigenous Nations.
There is a youth suicide crisis in NAN communities and Indigenous Australian Nations. In Australia, Indigenous youth are over five times as likely to commit suicide as their non-Indigenous peers - statistics in Canada show Indigenous youth are up to eleven times as likely.
The Indigenous Mental Health and Wellbeing Forum also revealed the shared legacies of colonial laws and policies in Canada and Australia.
A legacy of intergenerational trauma and inequities continue to impact Indigenous people in both countries. Today, there are still many similarities in the issues we are tackling: intergenerational trauma; suicide prevention; and improving health outcomes.
August - November: Ongoing planning with delegates
● Conference preparation
● Cultural preparation
● Planning travel
November 17: Tentative date for travel to Australia
November 21 – 24: Conference dates
November 30: Tentative date for return to Canada