Honouring Life

Indigenous Health

Indigenous Youth Suicide Prevention Program

What is Honouring Life?

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.

Indigenous youth in Alberta deserve to experience life with hope, meaning, belonging and purpose. Honouring Life will help guide Indigenous communities to have the knowledge, vision and capacity to support joyful, vibrant and purposeful youth.

Program Expansion

In July of 2018, Alberta Health provided additional funding for the Honouring Life program. This new funding allows Honouring Life to expand across Alberta serving more First Nation Communities, Métis Settlements, and the Métis Nation of Alberta.

Funding Update

Unfortunately, due to the short period of time between now and the end of this Grant cycle (March 31, 2022) the Honouring Life Grant is currently unable to accept any new applications at this time.

Please contact Honouring Life for additional information at honouringlife@ahs.ca.


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 AYCES program provided funding to support programs in 20 Indigenous communities in Alberta, including urban Indigenous agencies.