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Seneca Nation to host World Indigenous Suicide Prevention Conference in Niagara Falls July 22-25


Wed, Feb 28th 2024 07:10 pm

‘Reclaiming Indigenous Resiliency and Hope’ expected to draw hundreds from around the world; Registration now open

Press Release

The Seneca Nation will bring together a worldwide gathering of Indigenous nations, friends and supporters for the fourth World Indigenous Suicide Prevention Conference, to help combat and prevent the suicide crisis among Indigenous people.

The conference theme is “Reclaiming Indigenous Resiliency and Hope.” It will be held Monday, through Thursday, July 22-25, at Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino on the Seneca Nation’s sovereign territory in Niagara Falls. This will mark the first time the conference will be held in the U.S.

“Just as we saw with the COVID pandemic and with countless health conditions and diseases, Indigenous communities are impacted by the suicide crisis at alarmingly higher rates,” Seneca Nation President Rickey Armstrong Sr. said. “Suicide is not an issue that is specific to one nation, tribe or region, but something that is plaguing all of our communities. It is a widespread crisis that will take all of us to address.”

In the U.S., Indigenous communities see the highest rate of suicide compared to other populations, with the highest rate of occurrence among people between the ages of 15-24. Suicide is the eighth-leading cause of death in Native communities.

From 1999-2019, the suicide rate among American Indian and Alaska Native women soared 139%. Among Native men, the increase was 71%.

“The statistics are difficult to read and impossible to comprehend,” Armstrong added. “Too many of our people – especially young people with so much light ahead of them – have fallen victim to darkness. Too many families and communities have been forever scarred by unexpected and unexplained loss. They are left with questions that can never be answered. We want to join our Indigenous brothers and sisters from across the United States and around the globe to help each other and to find solutions to prevent further tragedies.”

The conference will feature several speakers and programs, focusing on such topics as: protective factors through building identity, resilience and hope; reducing suicide risks; sharing stories and knowledge; and showcasing wise practices on the spectrum of prevention and intervention, encompassed by culture and Indigenous knowledge.

The conference’s keynote speaker and presenter will be confirmed soon.

In addition to the conference activities, several Native artisans, vendors and exhibitors will be in attendance.

Registration for the conference is now open, and several sponsorship opportunities are available. Organizers expect more than 800 attendees from around the world to attend. For registration and sponsorship information, visit TheWISPC.com.

To support the conference, the Seneca Nation will also host a charity golf tournament on Saturday, May 18, at Seneca Hickory Stick Golf Course in Lewiston. For golf registration and sponsor information, visit GolfersofAllTribes.com/event-registration.

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