The provincial government is allocating $20 million over 3 years to the First Nations Health Authority.
This money is from the $322 million dedicated from the government to battle the overdose crisis.
“These investments are supported by an evidence-base of findings that have shown First Nations peoples are overrepresented in the overdose public health emergency in B.C. Knowing this, we have come together as partners to target these funds where they are needed in rural and urban areas, in line with our priority areas of action,” says Chief medical officer Dr. Shannon McDonald.
“We all have a part to play in supporting our community members, family, and friends to be well. In this emergency, there is no one way to respond. These funds will be used in a variety of ways to meet people where they are at on their journey.”
The funding includes $4 million in 2017-2018 support activities falling within the goals of the FNHA’s framework for action on responding to the opioid crisis
The funding includes $4 million in 2017-2018 support activities falling within the goals of the FNHA’s framework for action on responding to the crisis. The goals include prevent people who overdose from dying, keep people safer when using, create an accessible range of treatment options, and support people.
In 2017, over 1,400 people died from an illicit overdose.
Indigenous people are 5 times more likely to experience an overdose than BC’s population at large and 3 times more likely to die of an overdose.
“We know that these heartbreaking deaths are part of a larger problem that has its’ roots in the dark history of colonization, of dispossession of lands and resources, of intergenerational trauma, racism, and stigmatization,” said Mental Health and Addictions Minster Judy Darcy.
(With files from Jeff Slack with MYPRINCEGEORGENOW)