EDMONTON – Treaty 6 First Nations in Western Canada have declared a state of emergency over rising opioid deaths.
The Confederacy of Treaty No. 6 Nations is calling on all levels of government for immediate support and funding to address the crisis.
Grand Chief Leonard Standingontheroad says the confederacy is asking the federal government to intervene and offer more “effective, flexible and long-lasting support.”
The confederacy says in a statement that the treaty’s medicine chest clause dictates that the federal government has an obligation to provide health care on an ongoing basis.
It says it expects all levels of government to adhere to and respect their treaty obligations.
The confederacy is also calling for meaningful consultation and collaboration and seeking funding commitments for culturally appropriate health-care services, including mental health support and addiction treatment and harm reduction programs.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 10, 2023.