Tribal Providers Conference Addresses High Suicide Rates

Photos and Story by Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

The 20th Annual Tribal Providers Conference, going on in Anchorage through this week,  has drawn hundreds of participants from villages across Alaska.  The gathering is sponsored by the federal Interior Department’s Bureau of Indian Affairs, and presents dozens of workshops and informational sessions on topics ranging from health and foster care to tribal government issues.

One session on Tuesday filled an entire ballroom at the Egan Center with those eager to find solutions to the high rate of suicide among Alaska Natives.

Photos: (Left) Emmonak elder Peter Moore speaks at a public microphone at a “listening session”  on suicide prevention in Alaska Native villages hosted by the Indian Health .  Moore said his village was burying one young Native on the day of the session. (Right) Speakers wait their turn to tell federal representatives about their experiences with suicide in Alaska’s villages.  The “listening session” in Anchorage was one of ten held across the nation to  gather information on how to combat Alaska Native and American Indian suicides.

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