Allison Crawford, MD, PhD, is a psychiatrist and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, where she is the Associate Chief of Outreach, Telemental Health, and ECHO, at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. These programs focus on creating access to mental health services, health equity, and the use of technology in mental health care. Allison has worked as a psychiatrist in Nunavut for 15 years, and coordinates psychiatric services for the Government of Nunavut. Her clinical and research activities focus on community-based mental wellness, and interventions for psychological trauma, and suicide prevention. She was lead consultant for ITK in the development of the National Inuit Suicide Prevention Strategy, and she was Scientific Lead on Project CREATeS.
Title: Project CREATeS: Circumpolar Resilience, Engagement and Action through Story
A project of the SDWG to support youth engagement in suicide prevention across the Arctic
Project CREATeS (www.ProjectCREATeS.com), an initiative of the Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG) under the Arctic Council, engaged Arctic youth in circumpolar suicide prevention and mental wellness. Between September 2018 and April 2019, 46 Indigenous youth from across the Arctic came together during three regional workshops and one circumpolar workshop to create digital stories to share their lived experiences and ideas for action with respect to suicide and suicide prevention in their communities.
Stories created by the youth revealed areas that they consider important for understanding resilience, risk factors for suicide, and for suicide prevention, including: Indigenous identity; political and environmental risk factors; early-life adversity; and the importance of land, language, and cultural knowledge for wellness and healing.
In their stories, youth depicted anxieties and hopes for the future, demonstrating also that colonization and intergenerational trauma are not contained within the past, but also shape the future. They attested to the value of having a safe space to talk about suicide, suicide prevention, wellness, and ideas for the future. They valued the circumpolar network that was created, particularly their discovery of shared challenges and meaning.
Arleigh Reynolds D.V.M., Ph.D, D.A.C.V.N., is the Director for the Center for One Health Research at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He is a PI on the $39 million NIH Biomedical Learning and Student Training (BLaST) program at UAF which engages and supports Alaska Native and rural Alaskan students into biomedical pathways through a One Health approach that makes such work relevant to their life experiences. He has worked closely with the Frank Attla Youth and Sled Dog Care, and, Alaska Care Husbandry Instruction for Lifelong Living (A-CHILL) programs, encompassing 17 schools across Alaska, where youth learn cultural heritage and skills to build strength, resilience, and healthy lifestyles leading to improved high school graduation rates and enhanced mental and behavioral health. Dr. Reynolds is currently the Director of the Center for One Health Research at UAF.
Title: Building resilience through transfer of Traditional Knowledge and engagement in cultural activities.
For millennia, indigenous people have been connected to the land, animals and with each other which provided a foundation for strength, adaptation and resilience.In modern times, these relationships have been interrupted by rapid social and environmental changes, leading to imbalances and struggles with health. Suicide is the leading cause of death among Alaska Native youth between the ages of 10 and 25. But, there is hope. Elders carry the Traditional Knowledge that has historically maintained resilience and adaptive capacity. Enabling the transfer of this knowledge and engagement in cultural activities has provided a means of building self-efficacy and self-esteem, resulting in improved physical, mental, and behavioral health. In this session, I will describe how the work of the Late George Attla Jr. helped revive and heal a community, and, serve as a model for other communities to become a source of strength and protection for their youth.
Anastasia Ulturgasheva is a social anthropologist specialised in material, gender and museum studies. She gained her first class degree in Anthropology, Sociology and Gender Studies from the University of Hull in 2017. She then pursued her research interests in anthropology and completed an MPhil program in social anthropology at the University of Cambridge, UK in 2018. She comes from an indigenous community of Siberian Eveny reindeer herders where she spent her childhood before moving to UK. Her current research interests focus on gender relations, environment and climate change in indigenous Arctic.
She has lately taught anthropology course on Peoples and Cultures of the Circumpolar North at the University of Akureyri and served as a junior researcher at the Stefansson Arctic Institute and the Icelandic Arctic Cooperation Network.
Birgir Örn Steinarsson is a psychologist who received his professional qualifications at the University of Iceland and the University of Copenhagen. After graduation he has worked with Sálfræðiráðgjöfin, PIETA House Iceland, briefly with THE NLFI Spa and Medical Clinic in Hveragerði, as well as completed an internship with the charity organization Hvíta bandið. Steinarsson has experience in a wide-ranging field and works a lot on matters of anxiety, depression, communication difficulties and low self-esteem, and has significant experience in DAM and HAM treatments. He also has an artistic side and has worked in entertainment industry in the making of music, movies and other publications. Additionally, he has assisted artists to get rid of writer’s block and in unleashing their creativity.
Dr. Gwen Healey Akearok was born and raised in Iqaluit, Nunavut and it is in this community that she continues to live, work and raise her family. Gwen is co-founder and Executive and Scientific Director of the Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre (AHRN-NU) in Iqaluit, NU. She holds a Master’s degree in Epidemiology & Community Health Sciences from the University of Calgary and a PhD in Public Health from the University of Toronto.
Dr. Healey Akearok co-founded the Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre in 2006. The goal of the Centre is to enable health research to be conducted locally, by northerners, and with communities in a supportive, safe, culturally-responsive and ethical environment, as well as utilize Inuit and western methodologies and epistemologies in addressing health concerns, creating healthy environments, and improving the health of Nunavummiut.
Since Qaujigiartiit’s inception in 2006, Dr. Healey Akearok has successfully brought over $22 million dollars in research and training grants into Nunavut, and more than 1000 Nunavummiut have led, partnered on, or participated in research projects and training workshops in Nunavut during that time. All of the data has remained in Nunavut and much has been published in the peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed literature.
Title: Youth Engagement and Leadership in Research in Nunavut
Jenný Ingudóttir is a Public Health specialist with a background in sociology, public health and positive psychology. She works at the Directorate of Health where her main projects include Health Promoting Preschools and violence prevention. Jenný was the first chair for the Icelandic association of Public Health professionals and was on the board for the Home and school association in Iceland for many years. Jenný has two daughters, one teenager and one young adult, and is very interested in the influence of societal factors in the health and well-being of youth.
Jón Haukur Ingimundarson is Senior Scientist at the Stefansson Arctic Institute and Associate Professor of anthropology and Arctic studies at the University of Akureyri. His research interests include the political ecology of medieval Iceland, as well as present-day Arctic human development, agriculture, food security and impacts of globalization and climate change. He is co-leader of the project Arctic Youth and Sustainable Futures, research partner in the REXSAC Nordic Centre of Excellence and the EU-Horizon 2020 project NUNATARYUK, and Co-PI of the projectReflections of Change: The Natural World in Literary and Historical Sources from Iceland ca. AD 800 to 1800.
Title: Arctic Youth and Sustainable Futures(2016-2019)
Arctic Youth and Sustainable Futures is a research project that seeks to fill a gap in knowledge on the needs, experiences, views and aspirations of young people (ages 18-28) within the circumpolar Arctic. Premised on the fact that the future of the Arctic will be determined to a great extent by today’s youth, this research focuses on what young people define as the most pressing issues facing them or affecting their lives today, as well as their hopes and aspirations. In this presentation I will describe the project Arctic Youth and Sustainable Futures in terms of its rationale and methodologies and discuss several salient findings from focus-group interviews conducted across the Arctic region in the context of the following domains of human development: education, material wellbeing, health and wellbeing, cultural wellbeing, closeness to nature, and fate control.
Kristinn Schram is associate professor in Folkloristics/Ethnology at the University of Iceland. He received his PhD. in Ethnology from the University of Edinburgh in 2010 after which he conducted postdoctoral research at the Reykjavík Academy, the Icelandic Centre for Ethnology & Folklore and the University of Iceland. He was director of the the Icelandic Centre for Ethnology & Folklore (2008-2011) and the Centre for Arctic Policy Studies (2012-2015). His research interests include mobile people and contested constructions of the North in relation to national, cultural and gendered identities and transnational interaction. Kristinn also conducts and coordinates research, publications, events and networks on Arctic discourses, their practice and relationship with climate change, society and culture in the North.
Dr. Sigrún Sigurðardóttir, an Associate Professor at the University of Akureyri, she developed and supervises a MSc. Course on Psychological Trauma and Violence and Vocational Rehabilitation. She is also supervising researcher at Bergid headspace in Reykjavík.
Education: The Police Academy in Iceland 1993, BSc in Nursing 2001, MSc. in Health Sciences from University of Akureyri 2007, Phd. in Nursing from the University of Iceland 2017.
Research speciality: Psychological Trauma, Violence, Childhood sexual abuse: Consequences and holistic intervention, Trama Informed Care, Qualitative reseach.
Work: A Police Officer around Iceland, a nurse at psychiatric units, in public health services and in vocational rehabilitation
Title: Trauma Informed Care for youth at Bergid headspace in Iceland.
Psychological trauma; violence and childhood sexual abuse (CSA), can have serious and farreaching consequences for the health and well-being for both boys and girls. Such as broken self-identity and self-image, anger, re-victimization, criminal behavior, alcohol and drug abuse, physical and psychological problems and suicide. Bergid headspace was opened in Reykjavík in August 2019, a low-threshold service for youth up to age of 25. Youth can walk in, call or contact the staff online and get support on their own premises. One of Bergid headspace speciality is Trauma Informed Care. Trauma Informed Care is an organizational structure and treatment framework that involves understanding, recognizing and responding to the effects of all types of trauma. It emphasizes physical, psychological and emotional safety for both consumers and providers, and helps survivors rebuild a sense of control and empowerment.
Sigurður Ólafsson is the Secretary-General of the West Nordic Council. MSc in International Development and Managment from Lund University, Sweden. Master‘s degree in International Studies from Uppsala University, Sweden. Previous Secretary of the Nordic Council Literature Prizes‘ Secretariats. His previous work experience also includes working for the Nordic Council of Ministers, and Copenhagen University.
Tinna Hallgrímsdóttir is a 24 year old activist deeply interested in environmental issues, equality and the interconnection between them. She is the vice-chairperson of The Icelandic Youth Environmentalist Association and the vice-Youth Representative of Iceland on Human Rights for the United Nations. Tinna is currently doing her graduate studies in Environment and Natural Resource studies at the University of Iceland along with an extra diploma in Practical Equality Studies.
Tukumminnguaq Nykjær Olsen is Special Assistant for Inuit Circumpolar Council Greenland and Advisor for Arctic Indigenous Fund. She is a MA candidate in Governance and Sustainability, West Nordic Studies, helds a BA degree in Social Sciences, have studied in Fairbanks, Alaska and Akureyri, Iceland during her studies. Tukumminnguaq is a native Greenlander who grew up in Qaanaaq, Greenland, northernmost town in Greenland.
Have amongst completed Indigenous peoples rights and policy program at Columbia University, Indigenous Fellowship Program at United Nations Geneva, is a former Arctic focal point in Global Indigenous Youth Caucus and Winner of Arctic Innovation Lab, Arctic Circle Assembly Iceland 2017.
Pétur Halldórsson is chair of the Icelandic Youth Environmentalist Association (Ungir umhverfissinnar) and founder of the Arctic Youth Network – AYN. Pétur is focused on how youth empowerment is critical for the Arctic, and in general how climate change, biodiversity and cultural equality are interconnected.
Yury Sumarokov is the Head of the department of International cooperation at Northern State Medical University (Arkhangelsk, Russia).
Yury Sumarokov graduated MD from the Arkhangelsk State Medical Institute (Arkhangelsk, Russia) in 1983 and PhD from UiT- The Arctic University of Norway (Tromsø, Norway) in 2016. He worked as rural practitioner in Nyandoma district of Arkhangelsk oblast for 15 years.
He was then Chief Physician of Regional Psychiatry Hospital #1 (the biggest mental clinic in the North of Russia with 750 beds). During 2001-2003, he organized the Medical Information and Analytics Center in Arkhangelsk. During the same period, Yury was involved as an expert of the EU TACIS project in the areas of health management, prevention and primary health care. Since 2003 Yury has worked at the Northern State Medical University and coordinated the international co-operation program. He became a director of Arkhangelsk International School of Public Health (ISPHA) at the first stage of the project in 2006 – 2008. He is involved in ISPHA as co-teacher of MPH – training module “Mental Health and addictive behavior.” His major research interest focused on the problem of suicides among the indigenous and non-indigenous populations of Russian North. Since 2010, he was doing research in cooperation with the Department of Community Medicine at UiT-The Arctic University of Norway.
Yury Sumarokov was representing NSMU in the UArctic since 2004. He was working at the University of Arctic Nomination Committee during two terms in 2009 – 2015, reelected for the next term in 2018.
Further reading material
- Sigurdardottir, S. and Halldorsdottir, H. (2018). Childhood Sexual Abuse: Consequences and Holistic Intervention. In Exner-Pirot, H., Norbye, B. and Butler, L. (eds.), Northern and Indigenous Health and Health Care. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: University of Saskatchewan. https://openpress.usask.ca/northernhealthcare/
- Collins, P.Y., Delgado, R. A., … Sigurdardottir, S., … Wexler., L. (2018). Risins Sun: Prioritized Outcomes for Suicide Prevention in the Arctic. https://ps.psychiatryonline.org/doi/full/10.1176/appi.ps.201700505
- Sigurdardottir, S. and Halldorsdottir, S. (2018). Screaming Body and Silent Healthcare Providers: A Case Study with a Childhood Sexual Abuse Survivor. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Psychiatric Service: https://ps.psychiatryonline.org/doi/10.1176/appi.ps.201700505
- Sigrún Sigurðardóttir (2017). Childhood Sexual Abuse: Consequences and Holistic Intervention. Kynferðislegt ofbeldi í æsku: Afleiðingar og heildræn meðferðarúrræði. Doktorsritgerð https://opinvisindi.is/handle/20.500.11815/317
- Sigurdardottir, S., Halldorsdottir, S., Bender, S. and Agnarsdottir, G. (2016). Personal resurrection: female childhood sexual abuse survivors’ experience of the Wellness-Program. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 30(1), 175-86. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26036820
- Sigurdardottir, S., Halldorsdottir, S. and Bender, S. (2014). Consequences of childhood sexual abuse for health and well-being: Gender similarities and differences. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 42(3) 278-28. http://sjp.sagepub.com/content/42/3/278.full.pdf+html
- Sigurdardottir, S. og Halldorsdottir S. (2013). Repressed and Silent Suffering: Consequences of Childhood Sexual Abuse for Women´s Health and Wellbeing. Scandinavian Journal og Caring Sciences 27(2), 422-432. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1471-6712.2012.01049.x/abstract
- Sigurðardóttir, S. Halldórsdóttir, S. and Bender, S. (2012). Deep and almost unbearable suffering: Consequences of childhood sexual abuse for men’s health and well-being. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences 26(4), 688–697. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1471-6712.2012.00981.x/abstract
- Video from the Arctic Youth Network: Arctic youth urge leaders to integrate the youth voices into decision making. https://www.youtube.com/watchv=oxqEyNYVMuI&list=PLuTRou_ogI0t8G4uW-poA77_0IQuat83E