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Dec 21, 2023
Opioid-related death rate in First Nations people in Ontario 7 times higher than non-Indigenous
People in Six Nations of the Grand River are speaking out about the harms they’re seeing from drugs, as overdoses have increased in the community in recent months.
Six Nations Health Services told CBC Indigenous there has been a spike in overdoses in the Haudenosaunee community near Hamilton but could not confirm the drug responsible pending test results. It did say in an emailed statement that “drugs like fentanyl are known to be circulating in the community.”
Intergenerational trauma, drug traffickers pushing harder drugs and the pandemic are all contributing factors, according to Six Nations Police Chief Darren Montour.
He said when he first started working as an officer on the reserve 31 years ago, he mainly saw marijuana use in the community but in the last 20 years it’s escalated to crack, cocaine and more recently methamphetamine, fentanyl and carfentanil.
“I can tell you that our calls for mental health are up, as is every other policing agency across the country,” said Montour.