Cyberwanderer’s Blog

June 11, 2009

Flu “Pandemic” Exposes Aboriginal Condition

The swine flu which has just been declared as pandemic by the World Health Organization exposes the living conditions of the aboriginal populations. A lot of the aboriginal in Manitoba suffering from the flu right now are suffering from complications. Most of the sufferers have complicating condition like diabetes. Large number of First Nation territories exhibit living conditions similar to a third world nation. Suicide rates are high, and there’s chronic shortage of funds for education and health care. Instead of helping,  Harper have withdrawn the funds destined for First Nation’s health care and education under Kelowna accord. And when an opposition MP questioned Harper government about the First Nation situation in yesterday’s question period,  she was accused of insulting the First Nation. Stating a fact to get the government to take action is not an insult, but turning a blind eye and misrepresenting the situation is. First Nation’s lower quality of livelihood and health care should be a cause of concern for everyone. However, a lot of people are so quick to dismiss First Nation situation as “them” being lazy and “we” always have to feed them. The former is short sighted, irresponsible generalization and stereotype, the latter is nothing but mindless arrogant self gratification. For those who suggest that the First Nation’s are living off your generosity, how much exactly of your tax dollar have gone to help alleviate their living conditions? The big crack between the quality of their health care compared to ours is a telling sign of the inequality that exist.

This H1N1 flu outbreak in First Nation community should serve as a reminder that we cannot ignore and abandon a nation, society or community thinking we are insulated from their sufferings. Because it could become melting pot for trouble and sooner or later, it will come back to bite us in more ways than one.

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