The reserve community of Standing Buffalo and two other Saskatchewan First Nations came together on Thursday to talk openly about a tragedy affecting their communities.
Teen suicides have claimed the lives of three boys since November.
There has also been at least six recent suicide attempts.
Clarisa Yuzicappi lost her 16-year-old cousin to suicide.
She says no one saw it coming.
“No. Everybody didn’t think he would do that and thought he was everyday…just normal, nothing was out of the ordinary for him. He was going to school and living with his grandmother. No one ever thought he would do that.”
Lois Isnana is a social worker who has worked with the families that have lost young people to suicide.
She said it is a community problem that requires a community solution.
“Because they’re all hurting. We have our culture and traditions that guide us, but also we have to look at the other three parts of the self that we believe in holistic healing.”
The keynote speaker was former NHL great Theo Fleury, who almost took his own life in 2003 after years of abusing alcohol and drugs.
Fleury was the victim of sexual abuse at the hands of his former coach.