The Idle No More movement is a clarion call that it’s time to restore the health of First Nations, as André Picard aptly states. Registered nurses (RNs) on reserves and in rural and remote communities bear witness to the many inequities First Nations people experience. Amnesty International’s new report clearly shows Canada is failing to address aboriginal needs.
The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) supports efforts by First Nations to call on the federal government to fully address these disparities. Added resources to treat illnesses alone won’t turn the tide. A recent report from CNA’s independent National Expert Commission, which examined the state of health and health care, recommended increased focus on health promotion, disease prevention and the unique social factors that can affect the health of Aboriginal Peoples. Successful solutions will need to be community-driven and not imposed on First Nations from the outside.