Today marks our second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. It has been two years since the death of Joyce Echaquan; 16 months since the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc community confirmed long-held knowledge that hundreds of little children were buried in unmarked graves on the grounds. Since then, the haunting reality of more than a thousand additional radar “pings,” with each ping confirming the body of a little child lying in an unmarked grave, on the very grounds of the school they were forced to attend. So much has happened . . . but what has changed?
Rural citizens are generally older, sicker and poorer than the rest of the population, and so have greater need for care if they are to achieve health outcomes equitable to the rest of the population. We have a system that is failing rural Canadians, and it must change. But what if we got it right?
The move to virtual care is leaving some communities behind. For rural Canadians, especially those in remote and Indigenous communities, there are obstacles to seeing a doctor both in person and online.
The Cowessess First Nation's family care system reunites Indigenous parents with their children, restores cultural connections and helps expectant and new mothers gain labour skills, financial literacy and find housing.
Faced with rampant food insecurity in the Eel Ground First Nation, New Brunswick, one elementary school principal started the Kelulk Mijipjewe food program to provide nutritious meals and teach students about Indigenous food culture.
Once a custom practised mainly by the Lakota Indigenous tribes, sweat lodges are growing in popularity in British Columbia, cropping up on many rural properties and Indigenous lands as group gatherings and tourists promise to return now that the pandemic is receding.
Improving health care must begin by recognizing the interconnected webs of colonization woven into all health-care systems in Canada. A good place to start would be at the beginning – with maternity care and birth.
For the Ford government, midwives' demands for equitable pay are unacceptable. But instead of using tax dollars to fight midwives in court, Ford should recognize gender-based inequities, address the pay gap and invest in rural and northern midwifery programs.
Health advocates are raising alarm that infants in Nunavut, and especially Inuit infants, face grave risks as a potent respiratory virus – deadlier than COVID-19 and influenza – re-emerges after a one-year hiatus. Health officials now fear serious outbreaks in Canada’s North.
Physician John O'Connor received an award honouring the legacy of Peter Bryce, a government doctor who sounded the alarm over the high death toll in residential schools. Who has the courage to be the next?
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