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Identifying colonial discourses in Inupiat young people's narratives as a way to understand the no future of Inupiat youth suicide.

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  • 1Department of Public Health, School of Public Health and Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003-9304, USA. lwexler@schoolph.umass.edu

Abstract

Alaska Native youth suffer disproportionately from suicide. Some researchers explain this by pointing to social disintegration brought on by rapid social change, but few make the connection to an ongoing colonialism explicit. This paper articulates some of the ways that colonial discourses affect Inupiat young people's self-conceptions, perceived choices, and, consequently, their behavioral health. Inupiat youth narratives will illustrate these connections and, in so doing, offer new ways to understand youth suicide in Native communities.

PMID:
19340763
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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