Decolonizing Suicide and Saving Lives through Language: Julia Li published in U of T's Undergraduate Sociology Journal

January 10, 2019 by Kate Paik

Julia Li published "Language Revitalization and the Indigenous Youth Suicide Epidemic in Canada: Decolonizing Suicide and Saving Lives through Language" in Volume I of the Undergraduate Sociology Journal (USJ). Her work examines the connection between the presence of Indigenous language knowledge and lower rates of Indigenous youth suicides in Canadian communities, and builds on Cwik's (2016) argument that language revitalization may be further incorporated into community-level suicide prevention methods in Canada to increase the effectiveness of those programs. To support her argument, Li draws on the Kodiak Alutiiq language revitalization program in Alaska, U.S., the Chickasaw language revitalization project in Oklahoma, U.S., and the Kaska Athabascan language revitalization project in the Yukon, Canada, to demonstrate salient challenges and findings.

Julia is in her third year at the University of Toronto, with a double major in health studies and bioethics. She is interested in sociology as a discipline because its research is often connected to various determinants of health, and provides insight into Canada's social, medical and political landscape. Her favourite sociology course has been SOC243: Sociology of Health and Illness, because many of the articles presented in the course have been pivotal to her understanding of current issues. Going forward, Julia plans to attend graduate school and pursue work related to communications, public health, or sexual health.