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Ottawa’s Inuit community celebrates life

Hello,

Today, World Suicide Prevention Day, Ottawa’s Inuit community held  it’s 9th annual Celebrate Life event to bring attention to a hard reality that affects all Inuit families in Canada. Inuit have the highest suicide rate in Canada, and one of the highest in the world. Suicide accounts for 40% of the deaths among Inuit youth, a rate that is 5 times higher than in the rest of Canada.

As Maatalii Okalik, the newly elected President of the National Inuit Youth Council, explained: “We are here to celebrate the beauty and uniqueness of our Inuit culture and to recognize the strength we have as a people and to build on this strength.”

Close to 100 persons gathered on Parliament Hill at lunch time to take part in the celebration.  Here are a few moments that were captured.

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Maatalii Okalik, the newly elected President of the National Inuit Youth Council

The performance by first and second year students from Nunavut Sivuniksavut:

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Riit Mike

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Kristen Kownak and Riit Mike

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Kristen Kownak and Riit Mike

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Country-gospel performer Etulu Aningmiuq, from Pangnirtung, said the opening prayer and performed a couple of songs.

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Terry Audla, president of Inuit Tapiriit Katanami, also addressed the audience and accepted a $25,000 check from Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund.

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Charlotte Qamaniq and Charlotte Carleton demonstrated traditional throat singing.

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The celebration closed with a performance by singer-songwriter Charles “Saali” Keelan accompanied by drum dancers Archibald Kadloo and Moses Koonoo.IMG_9963

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Charles “Saali” Keelan

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Archibald Kadloo

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Moses Koonoo

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Thank you all for such an inspiring event. May your message of hope continue to spread and change lives.
France Rivet

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