Guests: Mimi Chakrabarty, M.A. Human Rights, University of Vienna and Jenn Jeffreys, Political Columnist at the Hill Times
About: Grand Chief of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, Sheila North Wilson, hears of her cousin’s suicide as she’s in Ottawa to bring attention to the very issue. 2 12-year old girls committed suicide in Wapekeka First Nation just a couple weeks ago. A suicide crisis swept Attawapiskat last summer. Why is this happening and what is the Canadian govenrnment doing about it? First Nations youth are 5 to 7 times more likely than the rest of the population to die by suicide, and the Inuit youth suicide rate is 11 times the national average. While the government continues to debate this in Ottawa, little progress has been made on this critical issue. Join Mitch and Mel as they discuss the causes and possible solutions to improving mental health and wellness across indigenous communities with our guests Mimi Chakrabarty and Jenn Jeffreys.
Mimi Chakrabarty holds a Master’s degree in Human Rights from the University of Vienna. Over the past few years, she has cultivated a broad range of experience working for and partnering with international organizations and NGOs, to pursue projects involving policy analysis and critical communications. Her most recent research endeavours brought her back to our home country of Canada, where she sought to apply her special interest in women’s rights issues to the nation-wide phenomenon of missing and murdered Indigenous women from an access-to-justice angle. In continuing her work with Indigenous women’s organizations, she is now exploring the different ways in which a unique set of social problems are impacting health outcomes for Indigenous women and youth. Her prior experiences in working with the Canadian government have been helpful in her search for responses to relevant policy and program development challenges.
Jenn Jefferys is a communications consultant and political columnist at The Hill Times. She has worked with the Assembly of First Nations, the Native Women’s Association of Canada, and the New Democratic Party of Canada. Her work has been published by VICE, Power & Influence magazine and iPolitics.