Indigenous leaders share lessons

Indigenous leaders share lessons


Hundreds of indigenous leaders from around the world are expected at a hui in Rotorua next week to look at ways to tackle suicide.

Organiser Michael Naera from te Runanga o Ngati Pikiao says indigenous people including Maori are dying at a shocking rate from suicide. He says the three day World Indigenous Suicide Prevention Conference - Turamarama ki te Ora starting next Wednesday is a chance to come together to share the pain, the healing and the best ways forward.

He says New Zealand has too many policies and services with no Maori lens, and that's a problem shared with other indigenous nations.

Speakers include William ‘Hawk’ Birdshead, founder of the Native American Suicide Prevention Organization; Rosalie Kunoth-Monks, one of Australia’s most renowned indigenous actors and an outspoken advocate for indigenous communities; and social issues and justice campaigner Professor Calma, an Aboriginal elder from the Northern Territory.

There is an indigenous youth summit running alongside the conference which aims to build indigenous youth champions who can return to their communities and lead positive change.