29 Apr, 16 | by BMJ
Four aboriginal boys, two aged 8 and two aged 9, bolted midday from their school, half-clad, mid-winter, to make the 12 mile trek to their families in Nautley Reserve. When they were found the next day in the slush-ice on Lake Fraser less than a mile from home—arms wrapped around one another in a frozen embrace—few could have guessed the circumstances.
When, 80 years later, the community of Attawapiskat (population 2000) declared a state of emergency on 9 April 2016, reporting 11 attempted suicides in one day (and 100 attempts over the winter), Canadians may have been shocked, yet few would have been surprised. Several pieces of evidence including audio and video clips explain why.
Both events trace back to the federal government’s paradoxical policies of marginalization and assimilation. more…