Honouring Life (formerly Aboriginal Youth and Community Empowerment Strategy or AYCES) is a suicide prevention program developed to support First Nation and Métis communities by building capacity in mental wellness, resiliency, and healthy lifestyle promotion.
Our vision is that Alberta’s Aboriginal youth are balanced, healthy, and hopeful about their life journeys, proud of their cultural identities, and confident in pursuing success in their lives and communities.
In 2002, Indigenous peoples within Alberta expressed concern about the future of their children and youth. Several Chiefs and their councils requested assistance from the Government of Alberta in addressing the high rate of suicide among Indigenous children and youth. Responding to this request, a number of Government of Alberta ministries came together to develop a plan to work with Indigenous communities to address the issue of youth suicide.
A strategy was developed and evolved over the years. In 2009, the focus was redirected to life-affirming strategies and became known as the Aboriginal Youth and Communities Empowerment Strategy (AYCES). In November 2017, the name was formally changed from AYCES to Honouring Life program through a traditional naming ceremony conducted by Indigenous Elders.
The Honouring Life program is based on the Community is the Medicine Model (Dr. Darien Thira) to complement the Strategy’s vision, mission and goal.
The Honouring Life program provides funding to support programs in 20 Indigenous communities in Alberta, including urban Indigenous agencies.
In July of 2018, Alberta Health provided additional funding for the Honouring Life program. This new funding will mean the program will expand across Alberta serving more First Nation Communities, Métis Settlements, and the Métis Nation of Alberta. The program will also provide support to urban/rural agencies supporting Indigenous youth not living in a First Nation community or Métis Settlement.
For more information about how to submit your proposal view the following documents: