There’s a new resource for educators interested in teaching about suicide.
First Nations educator Harvey McCue has produced a program of 24 one-hour sessions designed for youth between the ages of 11 and 13.
The experiential learning initiative features student activities, learning materials like stories, interactive videos and internet resources. It provides all required materials for in-class activities and a detailed guide for teachers.
McCue, who hails from Georgina Island First Nation but now lives in Ottawa, says the exercises were designed to make students reflect.
“What inspires me? Who are my heroes? What are my dreams? What would I like to be doing five years from now, 10 years from now?” he says.
The curriculum is free and available for download at firstnationssuicideprevention.com.
According to the website, the curriculum “connects culture with content related to resilient-rich choice-making that is applicable across the distinct First Nations in Canada.
“Framed in highly creative, stimulating, and interactive ways, the First Nations Youth Suicide Prevention Curriculum has the capacity to build resilience by being responsive, engaging, and applicable to the worldview of participating First Nation’s youth.”
McCue, who has been educating for 50 years, says the program could also be adapted to cater to non-First Nations Indigenous youth.
“It might take six or eight months for a team of Inuit educators to say, alright let’s tear this one apart — let’s not throw it out entirely, but let’s make it more Inuit specific,” he says.