The Association

The First Nations and Inuit Suicide Prevention Association of Quebec (FNISPAQ) is a non-profit Aboriginal organization and has its head office situated in Montreal. The Association exists since November 2, 2001(Section III of the Company Act, licence ). The Association has more than three hundred members from First Nations and Inuit from across Quebec. Its mission is to participate in the group efforts aimed at contributing to the well being and balance of the lives of Aboriginal people of Quebec. It aims at attaining its mission through activities of community awareness, prevention, and education, as well as actively supporting the development of psychosocial interventions made accessible in the language and the cultural context respective of each nation and community.

Taking into account obvious factors such as the immense territory, the geographic distance, cultural diversity, and the complex economical and political stakes, Aboriginal people still have  limited access to all appropriate resources and services needed to best respond to the challenges faced by the increase of social problems. FNISPAQ has chosen as their first step in the strategy to address the needs of Aboriginal interveners because they are representatives of their community and nation as well as play a key role as change agents in their domain. The majority of the members are mainly interveners in Aboriginal Communities who are directly involved in helping and supporting of their people, but also are non-native interveners in the health sector, social services and education. The Board of Directors represents interveners from each nation, interveners from an urban setting, as well as non-native interveners (the list of Board Members is included).

The Association works in conjunction with Canadian and Quebec suicide prevention associations. They also hold a seat on the Board of Directors for the Aboriginal Mental Health Association of Canada. Melanie Petiguay, from Manawan, founding member of the Association, received the Rejean Marier Prize from the Suicide Prevention Association of Quebec in 2002 in recognition for her outstanding work with youth from her community as well as her contribution to the founding of FNISPAQ. Furthermore, the Association has been solicited to participate in different research projects and hopes to establish partnerships with Universities involved in the area of social problems and mental health in order to secure and reinforce the front line community interventions.