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January 9, 2023
Collective, Canada-wide action is required to ensure the long-term well-being of Indigenous communities.
When serious social challenges strike at the heart of Indigenous communities, certain things need to be said – not with finger-pointing or anger, but in deep sadness, bordering on despair.
If the sufferings vary in their expression – extreme violence, aggressive gang activity, deaths from drinking and driving, thefts from elders, violence against Indigenous women and girls, the opioid epidemic, disproportionate difficulties with the Canadian health care system, the AIDS crisis – the effects have been much the same: overwhelming sorrow and pain in Indigenous communities across Canada. Underlying them are endemic mental-health issues, many of them undiagnosed and untreated, that only make matters worse.
In many Indigenous communities, the sorrow and the pain are overwhelming. As a result, good, compassionate police officers struggle to contain the violence among the people with whom they live. Nurses (and, when they visit, doctors) are left to cope with the health fallouts in remote communities.
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