Sunday, December 26, 2010

Re-instate funding
Aboriginal groups demand Feds re-instate money for healing fund

It's the end of the line for a range of services for survivors of residential schools and their families.

On April 1st, 134 projects across Canada including physical and mental health programs, grief, loss, and suicide counseling will be cut off, as the Aboriginal Healing Foundation's money dries up.

The Chief of the Dene Nation, Bill Erasmus says he doesn't understand why the federal government won't continue funding the 12-year-old foundation.

He says 12 years isn't enough to help people heal from the devastation they or family members faced in residential schools.

"People are only really now beginning to speak out because for the longest time many of our people were in denial, the churches were in denial, territorial government was in denial, the federal government was in denial, everyone acted like nothing happened and now that the reality is out there, we're only now starting to learn about how to deal with the impacts."

The federal government has offered to provide some funding to Aboriginal groups through Health Canada, but Erasmus says the feds are the source of the pain and many First Nations people do not trust them.

The House of Commons is holding an emergency debate tonight so MPs can discuss whether to re-instate the Aboriginal Healing Foundation's money.

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