top of page
choose Life logo_edited (1).webp


Funding for this application is being sought from Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and/or Health Canada based on the availability of Jordan’s Principle Child-First Initiative funding.

As was outlined in The People’s Inquiry into our Suicide Pandemic (2016) since 2009, 600 children and youth from Mushkegowuk communities thought about or tried to take their own lives, more tragically some ended their lives. These and other communities experienced this pandemic, facing the loss of our family members and friends, and the ongoing fear of losing someone else we love. It is now the focus of the communities to develop our own solutions to address this pandemic and to protect our youth at risk of suicide. This application is made in support of our youth.


The overall objective of the programs and activities that Kashechewan Health Services would like to implement is to restore balance for children and youth in the community through holistic healing.


The key tasks will be the continuation of both suicide prevention and intervention-focused mental health services and supports in the community. The services and supports will promote mental, emotional and

behavioral well-being in the community and build capacity within existing services and supports as well as the community at large. They will focus on the prevention of underage drinking and drug use, decreasing addiction among adolescents and young adults, decreasing rates of depression and other mood-related disorders among adolescents and young adults, building self-esteem and self-love among children and youth in the community, decreasing vandalism including fire starting by young people and decreasing bullying incidents.

Biography of Kashechewan Choose Life

Choose Life in Kashechewan began in 2017 when the Circle of Care committee became aware of the CHRTC’s ruling on the lack of mental health services and support in Northern Ontario; thus bringing Choose Life to fruition. Alongside various partnering organizations such as Kashechewan Health Services, Francine J Wesley Secondary School, St. Andrews Elementary, Payuktayno, Kashechewan First Nation & its Youth Council. The first proposal was submitted in the summer of 2017 which began our community’s journey through the program. 


Beginning as a small program, Choose Life Kashechewan managed to offer a magnitude of programs for youth 0-18 and students at both schools. From various recreational activities to land-based activities, to mental health training and so much more. Choose Life was already starting to make a big impact on the community. 


For 2018-19 our program began to establish itself more, providing jobs and careers for our community members with the expansion of the staffing structure. With policies at ISC changing ever so slightly, more programs and events were being allowed more and more often. The Choose Life Program extended its reach and allowed for more traditional programs like powwows, sweat lodges, and more.

Choose Life Kashechewan 2019-20 was one that was a very successful year. Offering the annual events of sporting camps, powwows, harvesting trips, mental health training for youth, recreational activities, and more. With memories from the Mental Health Conference at our gym, there was a lot to remember from the program. 


2020-21 marked the COVID year for Choose Life Kashechewan. Despite all the challenges at the time, the Choose Life Program continued to offer support to its community members by hosting virtual events and events in a very limited and strict capacity. During the year we were able to mitigate and minimize suicide ideation in youth and community members. 2020-21 also marked the first year of the detox program in Kashechewan. After a hefty battle in the appeal process, Choose Life got the detox program and has been a staple to our program since. This year is also the first year of the implementation of our Choose Life Youth Advisory Council. The YAC provides input and recommendations regarding the Choose Life Program and also has its own budget to conduct activities. 

Choose Life in 2021-22 was still slower than years previous, however, the fewer restrictions on in-person events and the popularity of our virtual events allowed us to continue to provide support and wellness for our community members. 


Since 2022-23, Choose Life Kashechewan has been able to provide its usual events and programming. Choose Life continues to expand its reach and efforts in narrowing any gaps in its programming to include as many demographics of youth as possible. This year is 2023-24, we’ve had the most response and input from youth; our Youth Advisory Council also had over 30 applications from youth in the community and currently sits at 14 members. 


Choose Life continues to be a vital program to ensure youth have access to various programs and resources necessary for the youth in Kashechewan.


A Legal Rule


In 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) determined the Government of Canada's approach to services for First Nations children was discriminatory. One way we are addressing this is through a renewed approach to Jordan's Principle.

Since the ruling, the CHRT has issued a number of follow-up orders about Jordan's Principle. In May 2017, the CHRT ordered that the needs of each individual child must be considered, to ensure the following is taken into account under Jordan's Principle:


This means giving extra help when it is needed so First Nations children have an equal chance to thrive.

Honoring Jordan River Anderson

Every child deserves access to services like health care and supports at school. However, First Nations children have not always had the same access to services as other Canadian children.

This is because different levels of government fund different services for First Nations children, especially those living on-reserve.

This has led to disputes between governments about who should pay for which services.

Jordan River Anderson from Norway House Cree Nation in Manitoba got caught in one of these payment disputes. As a result, he didn't get the recommended home-based care he needed.

Legacy of Jordan River Anderson

Jordan was born in 1999 with multiple disabilities and stayed in the hospital from birth.

When he was 2 years old, doctors said he could move to a special home for his medical needs. However, the federal and provincial governments could not agree on who should pay for his home-based care.

Jordan stayed in the hospital until he passed away at the age of 5.

In 2007, the House of Commons passed Jordan's Principle in memory of Jordan. It was a commitment that First Nations children would get the products, services and supports they need, when they need them. Payments would be worked out later.

Today, Jordan's Principle is a legal obligation, which means it has no end date. While programs and initiatives to support it may only exist for short periods of time, Jordan's Principle will always be there. Jordan's Principle will support First Nations children for generations to come.

This is the legacy of Jordan River Anderson.


Information to come soon!
bottom of page