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Graphic novels attempt to prevent Indigenous and Metis youth suicides

Last Updated Sep 10, 2019 at 4:26 pm MDT

(L to R) Elder Travis Plaited Hair, Jennifer Houle-Famakinde, Minister Rebecca Schulz, MLA Peter Singh, Elder Gloria Laird, Mara Grunau and MLA Jeremy Nixon support the launch of new suicide prevention graphic novels for First Nations and Metis youth.

CALGARY – The Alberta government is using comic books to help prevent suicide among Indigenous and Metis youth.

Alberta has one of the highest provincial rates of youth suicide in Canada and the rate among Indigenous youth is five to six times higher than the general population.

Two graphic novels aimed at youth suicide prevention were released Tuesday at a news conference in Calgary.

‘Tomorrow’s Hope’ targets First Nations youth and ‘Strength of the Sash’ is aimed at Metis young people.

Children’s Services Minister Rebecca Schulz says the novels were created by and for First Nations and Metis youth and provide an opportunity for honest conversations about youth suicide.

They also encourage people to ask for help.

She says the government is acting on recommendations to make resources that are more culturally appropriate.

The government says more than 100 Indigenous youth — in addition to First Nation and Metis producers, writers and artists — helped develop the stories.