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POLICE ASSOCIATION OF NOVA SCOTIA 97 First Nations (status and non-status peoples), the Inuit and Métis are collectively referred to as Aboriginal people. Aboriginal people in Canada have some of the highest suicide rates in the world, but this is not true for all Aboriginal peoples. There are also many communities that have very low rates of suicide. Historically, suicide was a very rare occurrence amongst First Nations and Inuit (Kirmayer, 2007). It was only after contact with Europeans and the subsequent effects of colonialism that suicide became prevalent. In the 2006 Census, a total of 1,172,790 people in Canada identified themselves as Aboriginal persons. A National Household Survey (NHS) in 2011 showed that 1,400,685 people in Canada identified themselves as Aboriginal persons. This represents 4.3% of the national population. The 2011 statistics show an Aboriginal population increase of 20.1% between 2006 and 2011, compared with 5.2% for the non-Aboriginal population (Statistics Canada, 2013). SUICIDE AMONG CANADA’S Suicide and self-inflicted injuries are the leading causes of death for First Nations youth and adults up to 44 years of age. Approximately 55% of all Aboriginal people are under 25 years of age. The suicide rate for First Nations male youth (age 15-24) is 126 per 100,000 compared to 24 per 100,000 for non-Aboriginal male youth. For First Nations females, the suicide rate is 35 per 100,000 compared to 5 per 100,000 for non-Aboriginal females (Health Canada, 2010). Suicide rates for Inuit youth are among the highest in the world, at 11 times the national average. Centre for Suicide Prevention, Copyright 2013 © ABORIGINAL PEOPLES The suicide rate for First Nations male youth (age 15-24) is 126 per 100,000 compared to 24 per 100,000 for nonAboriginal male youth. ■

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