Double Trouble


Don’t let anyone call you a minority if you’re black or Hispanic or belong to some other ethnic group. You’re not less than anybody else. Gwendolyn Brooks

I have been given this much thought over the years.  It is alarming what some people must bear because of the bigotry of others.

Put yourself in these shoes, you are in an ethnic group, you also have a mental health issue.  That puts you in a situation of “double trouble”. 

Within the borders of Canada we have groups of people, First Nations, living in sub standards housing, under a “boil water” advisories, a bleak outlook for their future.

In the 1960’s there was a policy concerning “first nations” children where authorities went in, grabbed the children, and place them in white Anglo-Saxon families, with the goal to drive out their “Indian” traits from them

The Sixties Scoop refers to a practice that occurred in Canada of taking, or “scooping up”, Indigenous children from their families and communities for placement in foster homes or adoption. Despite the reference to one decade, the Sixties Scoop began in the late 1950s and persisted into the 1980s.  Wikipedia – 60’s scoop

The Canadian Government gave these children “double trouble”.  Many survivors of this are now dealing with a multitude of issues, one of them being mental health trauma.

Fast forward to this current century and Canada has an epidemic within it’s borders. High suicide rates within the First Nations youth.

Suicide rates across First Nations, Inuit, and Metis communities continue to be considerably higher than that of non-Indigenous peoples in Canada.[19][20][21] A Statistics Canada survey from 2011 to 2016 found that, when comparing suicide rates of Indigenous peoples to the rest of the Canadian population, First Nations people had a suicide rate three times higher, Metis had an estimated rate two times higher, and Inuit communities were found to face a suicide rate as much as 9 times higher than the national average.

This is a story that has not been given much light shone on it.  There are other issues that needs to be brought to light, but that is for another post.

I do not know what the correct solution is, but, I would start by actually treating the First Nations people as a whole like the human beings that they are.  Not with prejudice of color of skin, nor the ethnic group label we have placed upon them.

So, maybe the next time I want to whine about my circumstance maybe I should consider those who from the start have “double trouble”.

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