February 25, 2009

Senate Indian Affairs Committee to Conduct Hearing on Indian Youth Suicide

The U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee will conduct an oversight hearing on “Youth Suicide in Indian Country” at 10:00 AM on Thursday, February 26 in Room 628 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C.
Among those who will testify at the hearing are Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), who, as a child lost his father to suicide; a Native American high school student who will tell the committee about her sister’s suicide in November, and noted health experts.
American Indians and Alaska Natives have a higher rate of suicide than any other ethnic group in the United States – 70 percent higher than the general population. American Indian and Alaska Native youths have the highest rate of suicide of any group in the nation.
The hearing will examine the current situation regarding youth suicide in Indian Country, including what has been termed an “epidemic” of suicides on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, and assess how Indian youth suicide prevention programs are performing.
WHO: U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee, Senator Byron Dorgan, Chairman; and other members of the committee.
WITNESSES: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV); Dana Jetty, high school student, Spirit Lake, Dakotah Nation, Fort Totten, ND; Robert G. McSwain, Director, Indian Health Service, Department of Health and Human Services; Eric Broderick, DDS, MPH, Acting Administrator, ‘Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Department of Health and Human Services; Robert Moore, Member, Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association and Aberdeen Area Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board, Council Member, Rosebud Sioux Tribe; Dr. Dale Walker, Director One Sky Center, Porland, Oregon; Mr. Hayes Lewis, Director, Achein Center for Life Long Education, Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, NM; Dr. Teresa LaFromboise, Associate Professor, Stanford University School of Education, Stanford, CA.
WHAT: Oversight Hearing on Indian Youth Suicides
WHEN: 10:00 AM, Thursday, February 26, 2009
WHERE: 628 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C.
WHY: To examine youth suicides in Indian Country and to measure progress in preventing youth suicides in the nation’s Indian communities.