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
SOURCE MOHAWK COUNCIL OF KAHNAWAKE
For further information: For further information: Gene Diabo, MCK Communications Officer, (450) 632-7500 ext. 2254, firstname.lastname@example.org