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We Matter and Facebook host first national #HopeForum

by ahnationtalk on January 15, 2018100 Views

Indigenous youth from across the country gather for forum on healing and life promotion

OTTAWA, Jan. 15, 2018 – On January 21 and 22, Indigenous youth representing every province and territory will attend the first ever #HopeForum to address the suicide crisis impacting their communities. The two-day forum, hosted and facilitated by We Matter and Facebook, will enable youth to explore their own needs as advocates and leaders of change in their communities, while providing concrete tools to support healing, self-care, and online safety.

Media are invited to join youth, policy makers, and community leaders on Monday, January 22nd for a national roundtable session on suicide, healing and life promotion, where youth will present concrete recommendations for change.

What:

#HopeForum National Youth Roundtable discussion, including remarks from Minister
Jane Philpott and interactive discussion and Q&A between youth and policy makers.

Where:

Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health, 299 Montreal Rd, Vanier, ON

When:

Monday, January 22, 1:30 – 3:30 pm

Who:

  • 70 First Nations, Inuit and Metis youth from across Canada
  • Hon. Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services
  • Tunchai and Kelvin Redvers, founders of We Matter
  • Antigone Davis, head of global safety, Facebook and Kevin Chan, head of public policy,
    Facebook Canada

How:

Local media are invited to attend in person (cameras are allowed). Please contact Jessie
Sitnick for more information: jsitnick@argylepr.com 

National media can also join via Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/WeMatterCampaign/videos/1174446202688844/

“There’s often a lack of emphasis on youth voices in the national discussion on issues that affect us, like suicide. But youth have answers, if we take the time to listen,” says Tunchai Redvers, co-founder of We Matter. Tunchai and her brother, Kelvin Redvers, launched We Matter in 2016 to give Indigenous youth a platform and community to encourage hope and overcome feelings of isolation. “For the first time ever, Indigenous youth will come together from every corner of Canada to discuss these issues on their own terms, on a national stage.”

Last fall, We Matter and Facebook partnered on the launch of a PSA targeting Indigenous youth, which focused on how to use the social platform to get help for friends in crisis. #HopeForum participants will be offered a special training session on Facebook’s suicide prevention tools from the platform’s global safety experts. “We know that Indigenous youth are super-users of social media,” says Kevin Chan, head of public policy for Facebook Canada. “We want to ensure our platform gives youth the tools to support each other and build meaningful connections across communities.”

A highlight of the forum will include a national roundtable discussion with policy makers, community leaders, and media, with the aim of developing a list of actionable solutions and recommendations for bringing change to Indigenous communities.

The Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services, will also attend the roundtable to listen and engage with youth about their specific ideas for addressing the issue of suicide. “Hearing directly from youth at the #HopeForum will be very helpful,” says Minister Philpott. “I look forward to participating in this event. Discussions like this are critical for building hope and charting a path forward together in reconciliation.”

More than 70 youth, including the AFN National Youth Council, will attend the forum. This includes Chloe Dixon, a 17-year-old from Eden Valley First Nation, Alberta. Chloe wants to use the #HopeForum to connect with youth from communities like hers, “I would take the information of We Matter back to my reserve, giving the community hope, but also to share with the youth so they could understand it is possible for change and hope.”

About Facebook Canada
Founded in 2004, Facebook’s mission is to make the world more open and connected. More than 23 million Canadians use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them. Facebook® is a registered trademark of Facebook Inc. All other brand or product names mentioned may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

About We Matter
We Matter is an Indigenous-led and nationally registered non-profit organization that is committed to Indigenous youth empowerment, hope and life promotion. Their mission is to communicate to Indigenous youth that they matter, and to provide resources to encourage and support those going through a hard time while fostering unity and resiliency.

For further information: and to schedule interviews with spokespeople and youth, contact: Jessie Sitnick, 416-859-8250, jsitnick@argylepr.com

NT5

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