The statistics are overwhelming.
Suicide and self-inflicted injuries are the leading cause of death for First Nations youth and adults up to 44 years of age.
Suicide rates amongst Inuit youth are 11 times the national average, among the highest in the world (stats from Center for Suicide Prevention).
A history of oppression, residential schools and cultural destruction have all contributed to making aboriginal youth feel like they don’t matter.
But there is a new organization dedicated to changing the story. They’re called We Matter and they’re launching today.
We Matter is a national multi-media campaign designed to disseminate messages of hope, resilience and solidarity from Indigenous people across the country, to youth in crisis.
Founded by brother and sister team, Kelvin and Tunchai Redvers, a filmmaker and a social worker from the Denınu Kų́ ę́ First Nation in the Northwest Territories, We Matter was founded as a response to the unacceptable rate of suicide amongst First Nations and Inuit youth.
The movement brings together indigenous role models, community and business partners, and everyday people, to tell indigenous youth that they matter.
For the past several months, we have been working with We Matter to support their sponsorship and role model outreach, and to develop their website.
With their key sponsor — RBC — and 15 video messages already filmed, including the voices of A Tribe Called Red, Don Burnstick, Richard Van Camp and Melanie Mark, We Matter is well on its way to making a splash, and having a real impact.
We are honoured to be working with such a passionate organization, for such a worthy cause, and we can’t wait to witness the impact We Matter will have on individual lives and on whole communities.
We’ve only just begun.