I am here to speak on behalf of Siksika Nation, a member of the Blackfoot Confederacy and Treaty 7 in Alberta. We have grave concerns over the implications of Bill C7 on our Indigenous community.
The expansion of “Medical Assistance in Dying” (MAiD) beyond those whose death is foreseeable will have a lasting effect on the Indigenous populations in Canada, who suffer from greater health inequalities than non-Indigenous peoples in areas of life expectancy, rates of chronic diseases, disabilities, mental illness, chronic pain, and access to health services. Indigenous peoples also experience higher rates of poverty, food insecurity, and unemployment – all negative social determinants of health.
Let us be clear: MAiD, with its administration of a lethal substance with the intent to end a person’s life, is counter-cultural to our Indigenous culture and practices. Our concept of health and wellness does not include the intentional ending of one’s life…
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