Bullying has become a major problem among First Nations, Inuit and Métis youth across Canada. The National Aboriginal Health Organization (NAHO) recognizes the impact of bullying on Aboriginal youth, and therefore, has created a web site to provide information to them, their parents and teachers.
The web site and its materials were created in partnership with the National Aboriginal Role Model Program and Kids Help Phone, Canada’s leading phone and online youth counselling service. The site contains tipsheets for youth, parents and teachers, lesson plans and presentations for teachers and more.
Despite the prevalence of bullying among First Nations, Inuit and Métis children and youth, there are few culturally specific resources available to offer assistance and direction to those who are dealing with it. The web site and its resources were created to get families and schools talking about this issue as well as offering suggestions on how to work together to prevent and eliminate it from their communities.
“Bullying is contrary to the sense of connection which traditionally exists within First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities,” says Simon Brascoupé, NAHO’s Acting CEO. “Bullying among Aboriginal people is a form of lateral violence and has caused a rift among our peoples which we can see coming out in our children’s behaviour. This site and its resources have been created to help foster a reconnection.”
NAHO has partnered with Kids Help Phone on this campaign to provide support to Aboriginal youth who are dealing with bullying or other related issues.
“Kids Help Phone is committed to the health and well being of Aboriginal youth,” says Alisa Simon, Vice-President, Counselling Services and Programs, Kids Help Phone. “Collaborating with NAHO to create these anti-bullying tipsheets is an important step to ensuring young people, and the adults in their communities, have access to culturally-sensitive tools to address bullying. Kids Help Phone was pleased to help develop these tipsheets that focus on community values and highlight the ways in which bullying is incompatible with these values.”