Suicide and Healing:
Aboriginals Overcoming the Hardships and Barriers
Aboriginal peoples have had to endure many tragedies throughout history, which has affected them emotionally and mentally. It is no wonder that this group of people are amongst the highest suicide rates in Canada (Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1995). This is a look at those tragedies and how it is tied in with suicide, also mechanisms used by Aboriginals to start the healing process.
Definition of Suicide amongst Aboriginals Suicide and its roots in Aboriginal communities is said to be one of the many outcomes of colonialism and are matters of great concern. The impact of someone dying from suicide affects the family and the community. Many contributing
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Many of the surviving adults are still tremendously traumatised, that they find being a good parent and community member troublesome (Alberta Health, 1995). The amount of abuse that Aboriginal children had to endure during those dark times has been connected to the current suffering of their communities. A lot have turned to alcohol and other substances to deal with their pain; this in turn causes dysfunctional family units and communities. Many of the former students cannot speak their languages and more or less feel too ashamed to teach it to their own children. This is because the staff took it upon themselves to punish ever child who acted or spoke like an ‘Indian’. When the children returned home there was a communication failure with their elders, because they were too ashamed to speak in their language; reasons stated earlier on. Since they could not communicate to one another the opportunity to respect their elders and learn their language and culture diminished. The gap on communication also led to a rejection of their traditional values and beliefs, because the elders were the teachers of the community. While attending the school a significant amount of students were victims to sexual abuse at the hands of educators, fellow students and administrators. But, the abuse didn’t stop there the victimized students began internalizing, normalizing and even recreating