Suicide as Genocide?

suicideThere has been a spate of teenage suicides on the native reserve of Attawapiskat. It is not abating . A state of emergency has been declared. This growing phenomenon has been in the news, taking headlines next to a celebration Canada`s generosity to Syrian immigrants. Indeed, as an immigrant myself, I can vouch for this nation’s generosity to and inclusion of newcomers regardless of race, religion or any other aspect of difference, still, somehow, this conjunction of events – the juxtaposition native despair and immigrant salvation, has hit me like a freight train. It brought to the surface my deep sense that our homemaking was founded on someone else’s displacement. This supplanting of one people by another is the historical reality of all nations, but it is an uncomfortably contemporary phenomena in the Americas. A deep malaise came over me, with respect to my own project and to this blog, and I am only just finding my way forward. This impetus has come to me by way of the crystallization of an idea – that in Canada, my new home, native suicide is a residual or attenuated iteration of a founding genocide. Suicide as Genocide.

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