First Nations youth from across Ontario will gather at a three-day symposium addressing youth health and wellness in London on March 20-22. The event, hosted by the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians (AIAI) will feature a series of workshops to help the youth learn wellness strategies to take back to their communities.
“Our youth will drive the future of our Nations,” said AIAI Grand Chief Gord Peters. “We need to make sure they have all the tools they need to be healthy emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically.”
Workshops will cover topics including school leadership, emotional wellness, team building, living with confidence and yoga. The youth will also explore healing through laughter at an evening comedy hypnotist show.
“This event will give our youth a voice,” added Grand Chief Peters. “We need to hear from our youth directly about the problems they are facing, and how we can support them.”
The feedback collected from the youth at the event will feed into a youth wellness strategy for the organization which politically represents seven First Nations across the province.
- Suicide and self-inflicted injuries are the leading causes of death for First Nations youth and adults (Health Canada, 2003)
- First Nations youth commit suicide about five to six times more often than non-Aboriginal youth.
- The suicide rate for First Nations males is 126 per 100,000 compared to 24 per 100,000 for non-Aboriginal males.
- For First Nations females, the suicide rate is 35 per 100,000 compared to only 5 per 100,000 for non-Aboriginal females. (Canadian Institute of Child Health, 2000)
PHOTO AND INTERVIEW AVAILABILITY
Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians Youth Wellness Symposium
March 20-22, 2015
Four Points by Sheraton
1150 Wellington Road South
London, ON N6E 1M3
Youth representatives from First Nations across Ontario including Batchewana First Nation, Caldwell First Nation, Delaware Nation, Hiawatha First Nation, Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, Oneida Nation of the Thames, and the Wahta Mohawks.
Grand Chief Gord Peters will be available for interviews from 1:30-2:30 on Friday, March 20. Alternate interviews available on request
Opening remarks from Grand Chief Peters @ 1 p.m. on Friday, March 20
Group yoga @ 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 21
Comedy hypnotist entertainment @ 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 21
AIAI is mandated as a Provincial Territorial Organization (PTO) to defend and enhance the Aboriginal and Treaty rights of our seven member First Nations. Our member nations include: Batchewana First Nation, Caldwell First Nation, Delaware Nation, Hiawatha First Nation, Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, Oneida Nation of the Thames, and the Wahta Mohawks. Learn more atwww.aiai.on.ca, on Twitter@AIAI_comms and on Facebook.