Maniilaq Association

Maniilaq Association
Garrett Lee Smith Tribal

Project Life is a three-year youth suicide prevention program that is part of Maniilaq Behavioral Health Services. It is funded by a federal grant from SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). Project Life activities include:

  • Creation a suicide prevention media campaign
  • Production of a youth cultural renewal film
  • Facilitation of youth resiliency through learning life skills
  • Professional suicide prevention training
  • Promote village awareness in prevention, intervention, and postvention
  • Proactive facilitation of holistic wellness (body, mind, emotions, spirit)
  • Holistic wellness understood as related to issues of identity and connection to traditional Inupiaq cultural wisdom, especially Inupiaq Ilitqusiat
  • Letter writing campaign to follow up with people who have attempted suicide, or expressed suicidal ideation

Inupiaq Ilitqusiat (values) presents a cultural wisdom-worldview that is not compatible with suicide. If Inupiaq Ilitqusiat is understood, internalized, and lived, the cause of suicide and other symptoms of a lack of wellness will naturally decrease. Every Inupiat is responsible to all other Inupiat for the survival of our cultural spirit, and the values and traditions through which it survives. Through our extended family, we retain, teach, and live our Inupiat values. With guidance and support from Elders, we must teach our children Inupiat values. Inupiat means, The Real People, Ilitqusiat means, Those things that make us who we are.