Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Aboriginal Survivors of Suicide: To Carry Ourselves



“wait for me” by Benjamin Chee Chee 1944 -1977

What: A Gathering to Honor Our Loved Ones.
For every suicide a minimum of 7 Survivors are left to deal with the loss. Please come out and show our support for Survivors. Support for Survivors is needed across Canada. Aboriginal Survivors of Suicide is a small step on providing the support to individuals and communities.
Place: http://thunderbirdhouse.com/ Circle of Life: ThunderBird House, 715 Main Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Date: April 21 & 22, 2010 9:00am - 4:00 pm
Speakers: Tobasonakwut Peter Kinew, Sally McDonald, Ronald P. McDonald of Wabaseemoong Ojibway Nation, Harold Fontaine of Sagkeeng First Nation, Jessica Burton of Suicide Prevention Education Awareness Knowledge (SPEAK) Winnipeg, More TBA,
Contact: Peter Kinew 204-256-4861
Sally & Ron P. McDonald 807-927-2020
Steve Courchene 204-255-8152

Participants are asked to bring pictures of their loved ones. People wishing to present are welcome, Please call As Soon As Possible. Guests wanting to take part in Giveaway Ceremony for their Loved Ones are encouraged. Please contact us with the number of people that will be attending the Free Gathering.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aboriginal Survivors of Suicide: Gathering In Winnipeg, April 21 & 22, 2010
Winnipeg, Manitoba March 17, 2010. For every suicide, there is an average of 7 survivors left to deal with the aftermath. In the Aboriginal community the number of survivors is greater due to large families, extended families and small communities. There is little or no grief support for the survivor of suicide in the Aboriginal community.
Survivor grief is most difficult to deal with because of the choice. People chose to die over staying with their loved ones. At least that is how the survivor may feel. There is devastation to their life. A loved one has died and there are no answers. The survivor must continue to live but many times the survivor just exists. The stigma over suicide continues to go unaddressed. With many Aboriginal communities heavily influenced with Christian doctrine, the act of suicide is looked at as a Sin. Suicide is also viewed as the cowardly act of someone who has chosen to escape a hardship. The negativity of view on suicide further compounds to the survivor agony.
The Survivor must deal with the myths, the psychological damage, the fear, the anguish, the blame and the what if’s. Some survivors never recover. Other’s take control of the situation and try to prevent it from happening to others, or make an effort towards a living memorial of their loved one.
Ronald and Sally McDonald of Wabaseemong Independent Nation, Ontario have chosen to remember their grandson Nolan by way of hosting an annual hockey tournament. The McDonald’s also donate their time to other Native communities and discuss their loss and talk about suicide prevention. .
Peter Tabosanakwut Kinew an Elder from Onigaming Ontario shares his wisdom and has searched a more Spiritual route to his loss. He is a member of the Grand Medicine Society and is a Teacher. He does not turn down anyone who seeks his council and prayer.
Germaine Cameron of Swan Lake First Nation is a multiple survivor. Her latest loss was her teenage daughter. Germaine sees the help that volunteer groups and peers have to offer. Her means of working with her grief is attending Compassionate Friends, a peer group of parents that have lost a child.
The Aboriginal Survivors of Suicide is a volunteer driven group that is hosting a Gathering of Survivors in Winnipeg, Manitoba, April 21 & 22, 2010 at the Thunderbird House, 715, Main Street. The Gathering will provide Survivors with a place to listen and understanding. The aim is to provide tools and ideas of how to start support groups at the community level. The Aboriginal Survivors of Suicide is not an agency sponsored event. It is a volunteer event. The Aboriginal Survivors receive no financial support and is not affiliated with any political group.

Contact: Sally & Ron McDonald (807) 927 -2020. Peter Kinew (204) 256-4861.
Steve Courchene (204) 255-8152. Box 554 Pine Falls, Mb R0E 1M0.

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