Four Winds

Suicide is the leading cause of death among First Nations youth in Canada1.

Four Winds

Despite representing 17% of the population2, Indigenous people in Saskatchewan experience disproportionately higher rates of suicide and self-harm compared to the rest of the country and suicide rates among First Nations youth aged 15-24 years old are at least five times higher than non-First Nations people3.

To promote life and reduce rates of self harm, Saskatchewan needs a holistic, community-minded approach to improving wellness in First Nations communities – and we all have a role to play4.

Four Winds: Improving access to youth mental health and addictions services

Bridging research, data analytics, and quality improvement with Indigenous worldviews, traditions, and ceremony, Four Winds aims to improve access to mental health and addictions services for children and youth, particularly within First Nations communities.

Named in ceremony by Ceremonial Elder Clifford Rabbitskin, the creation of Four Winds stems from a report published in collaboration with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) on self-harm and suicide, studying the growing gap between First Nations peoples and communities compared to the rest of Saskatchewan’s population.

Four Winds was designed with the following principles in mind:

  • Community connection: providing a space for community leaders to engage, collaborate, and share experiences
  • Accelerated learning: offering insights into life promotion initiatives across Canada
  • Cultural enrichment: creating a culturally safe environment where First Nations communities can learn, share, and grow while honouring their heritage.

Together, we can alleviate some of the health inequalities experienced by First Nations communities in our province and instill a sense of hope, purpose, and belonging for generations to come.

First Nations teenagers have the highest rates of hospitalization for self-harm and suicide in Saskatchewan5.

First Nations females 15 years old and under are 10 times more likely to be hospitalized for self-harm than other teenagers6.

Sharing & Learning Society

In the spirit of “Nothing about us, without us”, we founded the Sharing & Learning Society as a space for connection, relationship building, and knowledge transfer with community partners.

Co-led with the Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority, the Sharing & Learning Society has 40 members who represent 27 First Nations and Tribal Councils.

Together, we work to illuminate priorities and increase awareness of services, resources, and opportunities that promote life and well-being for children and youth in Saskatchewan.

Join the Sharing & Learning Society

Our Partners

The work of Four Winds is guided by a collection of First Nations leaders and organizations passionate about establishing accessible, culturally responsive programs and services for children and youth.

Our partners in this journey include:

  • Thunderchild First Nation
  • James Smith Cree Nation
  • Onion Lake Cree Nation
  • Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation
  • Saskatoon Tribal Council
  • Athabasca Health

Cultural Advisory Committee

We are committed to engaging with traditional Knowledge Keepers, Elders, and cultural advisors to help guide our work of enhancing First Nation and Métis health and wellness in Saskatchewan.

The Cultural Advisory Committee is comprised of representatives from treaties across Saskatchewan, bringing invaluable expertise, wisdom, and learnings to the table to ensure we continue to go about our work in a good way.

Get to know our Cultural Advisory Committee advisors

Collaborate with us

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can be part of improving access to mental health and addictions services for children and youth, get in touch with us!

[1] Centre for Suicide Prevention, Mental health and suicide in Indigenous communities in Canada. 2018.

[2, 3, 5, 6] Saskatchewan Health Quality Council, Self-Harm and Suicide in First Nations Communities in Saskatchewan: Full Report. October 2022.

[4] Government of Canada, Suicide prevention in Indigenous communities. November 2023.