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Thursday, September 14, 2023

National Native News: Alaska mourns death of Gene "Buzzy" Peltola, 57 | Suicide Rate SKYHIGH



Thursday, September 14, 2023

Alaska mourns death of Gene "Buzzy" Peltola, 57

The husband of U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola (Yup'ik/D-AK) died after a plane crash on Tuesday. He was 57. As KNBA’s Rhonda McBride reports, Gene "Buzzy" Peltola is being remembered as both a supportive husband and a leader in his own right.

WATCH: LaMont Albertson shares memories about his longtime friend Buzzy Peltola on Native America Calling with Shawn Spruce.

Suicide rate 2000-2020: Up 130% for Native women, 90% for Native men

It’s National Suicide Prevention Week, and new data shows that the suicide rate in the U.S. has increased dramatically over the past 20 years.

As the Mountain West News Bureau’s Kaleb Roedel reports, that’s especially true for Native Americans and Alaska Natives.

The analysis was done by Pew Charitable Trusts.

It found that from 2000 to 2020, the national suicide rate grew 30%.

For Native American and Alaska Native women, the rate spiked more than 130%. For men, it jumped over 90%.

Emily Edmunds Haroz is with the Johns Hopkins Center for Indigenous Health.

She says a major factor is the historical trauma caused by colonization and the boarding school era.

“If a parent is traumatized because of these experiences and experiences those things and are not allowed to talk about it, and not allowed to cope with it, they then pass along that trauma to their children and sort of this cycle perpetuates itself.”

She says there’s also a lack of funding for mental healthcare services in tribal communities.

If you or someone you know needs help, call or text the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988. Or contact them via live chat.





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