“Abnormal mental health” and a blameless state—Canadian media representations of Indigenous suicide
Indigenous suicide rates are high in Canada compared to the total Canadian rate and have been for some time. I argue it is necessary and salient to gather how Indigenous suicide is depicted in Canada. The media has a powerful influence on public perceptions, which can be a driving force that shapes suicide prevention policy. Using content analysis, media articles that reported on Indigenous suicide over the past 10 years were examined. It was found that media depictions represented forms of present colonialism and symbolic violence. The overwhelming portrayal of Indigenous suicide as a result of abnormal mental health diverts attention away from injustices, such as continuing racism and discrimination in healthcare, perhaps allowing these entities to persist. The Canadian media perceives that Indigenous suicide is a phenomenon that can be well understood within the confines of a colonial, dominant view of health.