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Cultural Practices Support Youth Mental Health

Thunder Bay, ON – Today, the Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA)’s Youth Life Promotion Program recognizes World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10).

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death amongst youth, and these rates are disproportionately higher within our Indigenous youth community. ONWA is committed to mentoring, guiding, and supporting Indigenous youth to be able to connect with cultural and traditional practices to foster healthy physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. ONWA honours and empowers Indigenous youth to build capacity and leadership within their communities and families to support each other and nourish future generations.

Today, ONWA will be hosting a virtual round table livestream for Youth and Elders/Knowledge Keepers. This is an opportunity to come together and talk about mental health. Culture, ceremony, dance, and music help people continue their path to healthy living through the sharing of cultural practices and reconciliation.

ONWA welcomes Knowledge Keeper Al Hunter who will share stories of kindness and how culture influences his own wellbeing. Speaker, educator, and Pow Wow dancer Deanna Hupfield will share her story of how traditional culture influenced her to create a spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally balanced life. She will also be teaching the art of Pow Wow dancing.

You are invited to join ONWA today from 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm EST on Zoom (register at or Facebook Live to participate in this event. Attendance draws will take place on Zoom for an iPad, air pods and traditional basket.

Here are some resources to help if you or someone you care about needs mental health support:

· Talk4Healing’s toll-free lines are open 24/7 to provide support. Call 1-855-554-4325 or visit

· Listing of Ontario mental health and addiction services for Indigenous individuals and families:

Learn more about ONWA’s Youth Life Promotion:

ONWA’s Youth Life Promotion program works with communities across the province to build capacity while empowering youth through education, mentorship, and cultural supports. This holistic approach develops confidence and skills, encouraging youth to take up their roles as leaders for future generations. Visit:

For more information:

Andre Morriseau, Communications Manager

Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA)


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