Aboriginal Suicide Is Among The Highest Rates in The World, Why?
Australian Aboriginal suicide rates are among the highest in the world along with the Inuit of Northern Canada.
With similarities in both cultures.
Both feel dispossessed from their original lands andculture even though now both have received back a lot of their lands from the respective governments. See Terra Nullis and Mabo for views on land ownership.
Both feel the tremendous pressure to conform to another culture including the education systems.
Both are very isolated in where they now live.
Social issues are the dominant problem that they must deal with every day.
The Young feel lost, isolated and without purpose or hope.The cultural belief by the Inuit’s of rebirth is not shared by the Australian Aboriginal.
The commonest forms of suicide are very different between the two groups.
The Australian Aborigine teen is much more likely to electrocute, by climbing power poles and grabbing the wires, poison or hang him or herself.
The Inuit teen is more likely to hang, or gas themselves.
Because of the culture of rebirth the Aboriginal Inuit teen does not see death but just getting out of the way of a seemingly insurmountable problem knowing that they will be reborn again.
The death caused in Australian Aboriginal suicide is caused by a lack of insight, coping skills, and community support because the communities themselves are in such a state of social chaos. Any premature death however is a tragedy and a young person taking his/her own life is tragic for the respective families.
Teenagers lack this insight and because of the isolation, poverty,social problems and inadequate social support systems this will undoubtedly continue.
Because of the difference in the importance of family and culture between our western civilizations we will see continued high suicide rates even while these groups are in protective custody.With the increase in the social pressure on both of these groups they are less and less prepared to learn the customs and laws which have helped their race survive for thousands of years.
Stories which were handed down in song and their Aboriginal painting, carving or craft are being lost because the young are not willing to learn, feeling no need to hold on to a now dying culture.
The eventual effect of this is the loss of their cultural identity as the old people die off.