Tsi Nahoten Karihwanakere No'nenk - MCK Responds to Article in Gazette

KAHNAWAKE, QC, Nov. 3 /CNW Telbec/ - 3, Kentenhkó:wa - The Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke has responded to an article entitled "Tuberculosis explodes on northern reserves" which appeared in the Montreal Gazette on Sunday, November 1st. The following is a letter sent to the editor of the Gazette:

    Although they should have acted on this long ago, we once again find it
    necessary to send a message strongly urging the Federal Government of
    Canada that now is the time to act - before it is too late.

    The Northlands First Nation has earned a dubious distinction as a global
    Tuberculosis Hot Spot. It, along with another Manitoba community health
    officials will not name, recorded the highest rates of TB in the world
    for two decades, making them one of the world's worst-affected
    communities. This is not in Bangladesh, this is in Canada - a country
    considered caregivers to the third world.

    We find it appalling that each and every municipality in Canada has all
    of the necessary `basic' needs to avoid such a situation, yet this
    Community continues to face a devastating state of affairs more than
    three decades after the last sanatorium in Manitoba shut its doors and
    tuberculosis faded in the minds of most of the public.

    With tuberculosis and a number of other diseases already running rampant
    in this community, one can only speculate the devastation that the
    current H1N1 influenza pandemic will cause once that virus begins to
    spread. This entire community could be wiped out and not a thing is being
    done to prevent it.

    With this in mind, we cannot help but wonder why so many of our sister
    First Nations do not even have toilets and proper water systems, let
    alone adequate housing. Could it be a case of 'the squeaky wheel gets the
    grease' or simply 'out of sight, out of mind'?

    With the current H1N1 flu knocking on their door, we're hoping the
    Federal Government answers the door and ensures its responsibilities are
    taken seriously.


For further information: For further information: Gene Diabo, MCK Communications Officer, (450) 632-7500 ext. 2254, gene.diabo@mck.ca

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