First Nations accidents spur safety training
Recent report indicates aboriginal youth more likely to be injured or killed in recreational activities
Posted: Sep 10, 2012 11:37 AM ET
Last Updated: Sep 10, 2012 11:19 AM ET
First Nations leaders are looking for ways to promote safe swimming, snowmobiling and ATV riding after learning that injuries and deaths are more common in their communities.
The Canadian Paediatric Society recently reported aboriginal youth are four times more likely to be injured during those types of activities.
The report comes on the heels of a serious ATV accident involving a12-year-old First Nations boy. The chain of events has convinced members of the Wabun Tribal Council — which represents six First Nations near Timmins — to spend more time teaching safety.
Wabun Tribal health director Jean Lemieux said she applies her culture’s “seven grandfather” teachings about good safety habits.
"One of the seven grandfather teachings is respect,” Lemieux said.
“You have to earn that respect ... and [these teachings show] how you do it."
Other groups are finding culturally specific ways to teach safety, including the Red Cross.
Red Cross instructor Maureen O'Neill designed a swimming safety program for aboriginal youth.
O'Neill said she links different parts of the lesson with the different colours of the First Nation’s medicine wheel.
"The white, yellow, red, [and] black has a strong message for those communities," she said.
O'Neill added some communities don't have access to safety equipment or lessons because of poverty. She noted more awareness about the issue is needed — as well as funding to promote safety training and to purchase safety equipment.
Why more injuries?
The reasons for the disproportionate risk of injury among Indigenous children and youth are numerous and complex.
According to Statistics Canada, Indigenous families tend to have lower incomes, less education and higher unemployment compared with other Canadians, while being generally younger and more likely to live in a rural area. They are also likelier to live in unsafe, substandard housing, and to encounter local shortages in health care personnel and resources.
Historical inequities, cultural alienation and loss of connectedness with the environment, as well as the grim legacy of residential schools, have contributed to depression, to alcohol and substance abuse and associated risk-taking behaviors, and to inadequate parenting skills for some.
Alcohol is a significant contributor to motor vehicle collisions, lack of seat belt use and drowning incidents.
The lack of culturally appropriate or targeted IP programs continues to be a barrier. Rural Indigenous children and youth have not benefitted to the same degree as other Canadians from vehicle safety (e.g., car seat, seat belt) programs or campaigns against impaired driving, nor from swimming lessons, first aid/CPR training or even the enforcement of existing safety laws.
- Excerpt from Canadian Paediatric Society report
Latest Sudbury News Headlines
- Concrete fell months before Elliot Lake mall collapse
- Testimony at the inquiry looking into the fatal roof collapse at the mall in Elliot Lake has raised questions about whether some at city hall put financial concerns ahead of safety. more »
- Boaters not getting message about life jackets: OPP
- Boaters are still not getting the message about life jackets says OPP Inspector Mark Andrews. more »
- Construction to start on Sudbury water sports centre
- Sudbury's canoe club is preparing for what it hopes will be the last summer in its current building, as construction is expected to begin on the multi-million-dollar Northern Water Sports Centre. more »
- Federal Court won't remove MPs over election robocalls
- The Federal Court didn't throw six MPs out of their seats over allegations of widespread vote suppression through automated robocalls in the 2011 federal election. But Judge Richard Mosley did find that fraud occurred, linked to the Conservative Party's database. more »
Top News Headlines
- Will Rob Ford's supporters leave Ford Nation?
- The growing controversy over a purported video alleging to show Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine may be testing the faith of even his most die-hard supporters. But experts say Ford's policies may trump whatever personal issues he's facing, and that his supporters may rally behind him. more »
- Royal Bank pledges not to outsource jobs for cash savings
- Royal Bank has promised it will never outsource a Canadian job to a foreign worker solely to save money. more »
- Neil Macdonald: How serious is Obama about curbing the drone surge?
- In a key speech this week, the U.S. president set out a host of supposed new safeguards for America's controversial practice of remote-controlled rough justice. But as Neil Macdonald writes, the underlying rationale for drone use has not fundamentally changed. more »
- Making The Mandela Tapes
- Producer Robin Benger describes how he obtained broadcast access to interviews Nelson Mandela recorded in the 1990s. A CBC Radio Ideas program on the Mandela tapes airs May 28. more »
- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford denies using crack cocaine
- The mayor of Canada's largest city told a packed news conference that he doesn't use crack cocaine and isn't a crack addict. more »