The health of Canada's indigenous people lags substantially behind other Canadians -- and the tragic reality is well documented. Sadly, the data regarding poor health status for indigenous populations shows us this is true across all major illnesses and across all age groups. In other words, being an indigenous person in Canada is too often a dangerous reality. But it doesn't have to be this way. These phenomena are not new, and while Canada has been good at documenting health crises, and collecting evidence, we've been poor at doing anything about it.
Lisa Charleyboy is a Toronto-based Aboriginal writer and blogger who is dedicated to inspiring and empowering other young Aboriginal people to follow their dreams. Her popular blog Urban Native Girl covers pop culture with an indigenous twist.
I was at my childhood home on the reserve when I heard the news -- my father and uncles were likely part of one of these "nutritional experiments," and one with clearly adverse side-effects at that. I felt as though a little piece of history reached out and punched me in the gut. Some friends and I have put out a call to Canadians to shed some of this negativity by uniting across cultural and religious lines. We are calling our gatherings (to be held today at noon) "Honour The Apology." To be clear, the Residential School era is not just "Native history." It is Canadian history. It is OUR history.