Former National Chief, Phil Fontaine, Accepts Position as National Spokesperson for the Aboriginal Youth Suicide Prevention Program-River of Life

CALGARY, ALBERTA – Oct. 15, 2009 – The Centre for Suicide Prevention (Calgary, Alberta) and Millbrook Technologies Inc. (Truro, Nova Scotia) are pleased to announce the acceptance of former National Chief Phil Fontaine as the national spokesperson for the River of Life, an online Aboriginal Youth Suicide Prevention Program.”I am very pleased to be part of this initiative,” stated Phil Fontaine. “Suicide is unacceptable and it is incumbent upon us to prepare and train our communities. “By providing this education and support to people working with our youth, we are taking a proactive approach towards preventing these unnecessary and devastating tragedies.”

The River of Life program curriculum is supported by research indicating a significant correlation between strong cultural roots and a reduction in suicide rates. It is a product of two years of extensive consultations with Elders and Aboriginal community members to provide culturally relevant content and is scheduled to be available in early 2010. The River of Life is unique in allowing for the continual building of a repository of culturally specific curriculum provided by course participants as well as community leaders and elders providing specific content for specific communities.

Phil Fontaine will be elaborating on these proactive approaches regarding Aboriginal youth suicide prevention and his own personal attachment to the tragic consequences of suicide as the keynote speaker at the 2009 Canadian Association of Suicide Prevention National Conference in Brandon Manitoba, October 20-22, 2009.

To learn more about the River of Life Program please visit:

About The Centre for Suicide Prevention

The Centre for Suicide Prevention is a not-for-profit educational centre specializing in curriculum development; training; library and information services.

For more information, please contact
Centre for Suicide Prevention
Diane Yackel
Executive Director
403-245-3900 ext 222


Centre for Suicide Prevention
Rani Murji
Education Director
403-245-3900 ext 223

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