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Nov 09, 2023
People living with disabilities often face unique barriers compared to those who do not live with disabilities. This is why the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) is highlighting that November is Indigenous Disability Awareness Month. This awareness month was started by Indigenous Disability Canada, formerly known as British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society.
It is an opportunity to build awareness around the barriers and challenges that Indigenous people living with disabilities face, but it is also a time to celebrate their strength and resilience, as well as the good work that has been done to increase accessibility.
Statistics show Indigenous people experience higher rates of disability than the general population in Canada. There are many factors for this, but colonialism and unequal access to wholistic health care that many First Nations people face is a major contributing factor. According to one academic paper, Indigenous people who are living with a disabilities are “doubly disadvantaged” due to anti-Indigenous and disability related discrimination. This does not factor in other intersectional identities that may add layers of discrimination, such as age, gender identity, and sexual orientation.