How Racism Caused By Colonization, Age, And Gender Have A Disproportionately High Suicide Rates

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In 1958 Martin Luther King Jr. was quoted saying “Hate begets hate; violence begets violence”. Unfortunately for some, the violence and hate they receive begets violence and hate deep into themselves. For the Inuit people of northern Canada, racism presented through colonial violence and acculturation has caused a crippling affliction. The effect of this violence has manifested itself into various other forms of viciousness; domestic violence, substance abuse, neglect and self-harm are only a few. The perpetuation of this malicious cycle has created an exponential rise in violence against oneself. Additionally, the process of growing up and creating an identity is extremely difficult. Whereas, developing into an adult when faced with violence is exceptionally harder. Many young Inuit males succumb to this hardship. In comparison to the general population, adolescent Inuit males have a disproportionately high suicide rate. Through an intersectional analysis, I will examine the how racism caused by colonization, age, and gender have caused one of the highest suicide rates in the world.
The act of committing suicide in Inuit communities has changed drastically. Previously, an ill or elder person would take their lives. This would be considered dying with “ancient dignity” as a response to the burden they may put on their families (Kral, 2013). There were very few recorded suicides amongst Inuit youth before the 1980’s (Working Group, 2009). The figures began to rise in the
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