The Ulkatcho First Nations recorded their eighth death in their community since the start of this year, with the latest on October 27th.
The Nation reports members who are passing away in the community are younger and middle-aged members, and the health condition of community members has been deteriorating over several years due to the addictions to drugs and alcohol.
The Ulkatcho First Nation is calling the state of emergency to the attention of the First Nations Health Authority, Indigenous Services Canada and the BC Ministry of Health.
The Ulkatcho First Nation has records of an Indian Residential School located in the community of Nagwuntl’oo (Anahim Lake), operated by the Catholic Church and funded by the Federal Government of Canada. They say many children suffered physical, emotional, and sexual abuse which caused mental health issues to arise in many families, which became intergenerational and continue to cause a dependency on drugs, alcohol, and opioids.
According to the Nation, a team has been created, which will be led by a Drug, Alcohol, and Opioid Crisis Emergency Health Care Team Leader.