Native Village 
Youth and Education News

October, 2013

Youth Honoring Native Life Release Suicide Prevention Video
Condensed by Native Village

New Mexico: Youth involved in the University of New Mexico's Honoring Native Life initiative want to be heard.  The students have released a new video directed toward tribal leaders and policy makers. It's available through The Native American Suicide Prevention Clearinghouse, a suicide prevention and suicide response resource for the state's tribes.

“What we need from our tribal leaders and policy makers is more sympathy towards the different generations that exist in our communities – the elders, parents, adults, youth, adolescents,” says a participant in the video. "Something that will bring those groups together but also recognize their differences."

The video directs attention to the needs of Native American youth and the need for more involvement by triba
l authorities and leaders.

The video was created at the recent Honoring Native Life Summit. The Summit included the Pueblos of San Felipe and Zuni; Navajo Nation; Mescalero Apache Nation; White Mountain Apache Tribe of Arizona; Albuquerque Area Indian Health Service; New Mexico Indian Affairs Department; and several other tribal communities throughout New Mexico.

"The message that we are hearing from tribal youth is that they want a voice, and in that respect, they want to feel like a priority to leaders and policy makers,” said Sheri Lesansee from the Pueblo of Zuni.

In the United States, more than
30,000 people commit suicide each year. It is this country's 11th leading cause of death. New Mexico ranks among the top 5 states for suicide rates --  150%-200% times the national average.  Suicide is the 9th leading cause of death for New Mexicans.

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