Project CREATeS is a project of the Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG) of the Arctic Council. The SDWG co-leads on this project included the Inuit Circumpolar Council, Canada, Finland, Kingdom of Denmark, and Sweden. Youth, invited by Permanent Participants of the Arctic Council, were invited to engage in a dialogue about suicide prevention by telling their own stories, and were supported to make these stories into digital stories, or short films.

The SDWG has brought attention to suicide prevention in the Arctic since the Canadian Chairmanship of the Arctic Council ­(2013-2015) and continued this focus into the Chairmanships of the United States (2015-2017) and Finland (2017-2019). By enhancing international collaboration across Arctic States we have created a community of cooperation that spans Arctic States, Permanent Participants, communities, clinicians, and academics working towards wellness and for the prevention of suicide. 

Project CREATeS was an opportunity under Finland’s Chairmanship to bring more youth voices, from across Arctic States, into the conversation. Hearing their experiences and ideas provides an opportunity for meaningful action to improve youth and community wellness.

The Arctic Council is the leading intergovernmental forum promoting cooperation, coordination and interaction among the Arctic States, Arctic Indigenous communities and other Arctic inhabitants on common Arctic issues. Members of the Arctic Council are Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden and the United States, in addition to the six Permanent Participants representing Arctic Indigenous peoples including the Aleut International Association, the Arctic Athabaskan Council, Gwich’in Council International, the Inuit Circumpolar Council, Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North and the Saami Council.

The work of the Arctic Council is primarily carried out in six Working Groups, including the Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG). The SDWG plays the lead role in the Arctic Council in addressing the human dimensions of the Arctic. Maintaining a focus on the three pillars of sustainable Development – social equity, economic development, and environment protection – the working group encourages the generation and acquisition of new knowledge, capacity building, and innovative approaches to the unique challenges and opportunities in the Arctic.

Workshops and key findings >


Drone Photography by: Sara Wilde