The World's Indigenous Suicide Crisis - Connecting Our People
Waka Hourua is unique to Aotearoa New Zealand and globally as a Māori and Pasifika solution to suicide prevention. This is reinforced by the fact that overseas groups often will seek advice, information and support about strategies to reduce suicide and self harm among indigenous peoples.
The high rates of suicide, attempted suicide, and suicidal ideation among some indigenous and First Nation communities indicate these problems have not only community-wide issues but global similarities. First Nation’s from the United States of America, Canada and Australia make direct contact with Waka Hourua in an expression of seeking international support and solidarity to fight against high rates of self-harm and suicide.
The response from Waka Hourua includes:
- Information sharing about Waka Hourua programmes,
- Connecting them with Waka Hourua networks and New Zealand evidence base,
- Staying connected, encouraging indigenous nations worldwide to gather and to validate our cultural norms
- Inviting them to Think Tank strategies and solutions, and
- Connecting at common conferences
In 2016, at the Turamarama ki te Ora (bringing light to life) Conference led by Te Runanga o Ngāti Pikiao Health Services . A presentation on Mauri Ora by Taa Mason Durie included key points on Māori cultural understandings of wellbeing (flourishing) and lack of wellbeing (languishing). The presentation ended with a 14 point statement for suicide prevention and Conference participants were invited to endorse it as a shared Declaration for the prevention of indigenous suicide. By the end of the Conference 450 delegates had endorsed the Declaration and 220 representatives has signed on behalf of their respective organisations.
Now known as The Turamarama Declaration it is bringing indigenous people together to strengthen kotahitanga (unity) on the issues that are leading to some of the poorest health and social statistics globally.
Further information contact: Micheal Naera.