We Are in Crisis. Federal and Provincial government must commit to addressing the health needs of the Mi’kmaw. Now.
The Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association is declaring a State of Health Emergency in our Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw communities.
Over the past year Mi’kmaw communities have had thousands of people come forward and disclose past trauma they experienced at Indian Day Schools. Our women are now coming forward and disclosing their experience of being forcibly sterilized. Our people, especially women and girls, are being murdered and vanishing with families rarely receiving justice. Our people are being targeted and forced into human trafficking. Opioids are killing our people in astronomical numbers and are being used as murder weapons.
Mi’kmaw communities are not equipped to address this emergency and the governments’ inaction is a deliberate genocidal action.
Lorraine Whitman, President of the Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association explains that, “our communities are in crisis, and we cannot move toward reconciliation if we are fighting for our basic survival.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated in his response to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry Commission’s final report, “we must continue to decolonize our existing structures and the racism, sexism and economic inequality that has allowed the violence against Indigenous Women and Girls to prevail; it must be eradicated.” He later went on to promise that, “…my government will turn the Inquiries call to justice into real Indigenous led action.”
With Parliament closing on June 22, 2019, without legislation, there is no guarantee that this promise will be fulfilled.
“It is clear that our communities cannot wait any longer for the vital services and supports our people need,” said Chief Deborah Robinson, Women’s Portfolio Lead for the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs. “The government needs to adequately fund our Health Departments and service providers. Our people need help now!”
President Lorraine Whitman said that, “a state of Emergency needs to be called to force the Federal Government to address the immediate needs of the Mi’kmaw of Nova Scotia. This is willful neglect and inaction on the part of the Federal and Provincial Government will not be accepted anymore. We refuse to stay silent. This is an emergency. Our lives and well-being are in jeopardy.”