As MP for our region I have spoken out time and time again about the need for better health care.
This week I spoke out in Ottawa in support of the Island Lake communities’ fight for better health care.
Island Lake First Nations community members held a march in Winnipeg to bring attention to the lack of adequate health care.
Their message is clear. This is about justice. Justice for the people of Island Lake, justice for First Nations. Justice when it comes to one of the most fundamental rights, the right to health. A treaty right.
First Nations should not be receiving second-class healthcare.
As MP I have consistently advocated on behalf of patients and of families who have had heartbreaking and even tragic experiences. From the lack of services in communities to the cuts to non-insured health benefits to the way medical services treats patients. The message is clear. The system is failing First Nations.
But this didn’t just happen. It is the result of cuts and neglect by the federal government. It is the result of policies of colonization towards First Nations.
Our message to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is also clear. The talk of reconciliation means nothing when this is the reality in terms of health care. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.
It is time for the federal government to listen and to act. They must treat First Nations people with respect.
The federal government needs to call a public inquiry into the inadequate health care First Nations people receive. They must fully fund the health services that First Nations need.
The fight for justice by the Island Lake First Nations is a fight for all First Nations.
As MP I will continue to fight for the improved health care our region needs.