Teams have already begun work on a Canadian-led effort to find what works to prevent suicide among Native teens in circumpolar nations, according to a report from The Canadian Press.
The move comes after the province of Nunavut suffered 45 suicides in 2013, a sharp increase over it’s previous high, enough to make it put its suicide rate at 13.5 times Canada’s national average.
“But it's bad elsewhere, too,” the report noted. “Suicide rates among Alaskan aboriginals are about three times the United States average. In Greenland, 2010 government data reported about one suicide a week in a population of about 56,000.”
In addition to Alaska Natives and Inuit in Canada and Greenland, the effort also seeks to address suicide problems among Saami populations in Norway, Sweden and Finland.
According to one researchers, the report said “Suicide across the circumpolar world seems to have some common features... It affects predominantly young people up to their mid-20s, and seems to involve rapid cultural displacement that Arctic people faced as southern governments exerted their authority over their northern regions.”
The project’s leaders hope Russia, which also has significant indigenous populations, will also agree to participate.