Urgent Call for Action: Treaty 6 & 8 Grand Chiefs Address Canadian Opioid Crisis

An Urgent Call for Action Against the Canadian Opioid Crisis from Treaty 6 and 8 Grand Chiefs

The opioid crisis in Canada is an issue that has been taking a severe toll on communities scross the nation; however, it has been particularly devastating for certain marginalized populations. Reports have recently emerged from the Treaty 6 and Treaty 8 regions of Canada, where the Grand Chiefs are urgently calling for action.

The Impact of the Opioid Crisis on Indigenous Populations

Indigenous communities in the Treaty 6 and 8 regions have been disproportionately affected by the opioid crisis. The crisis has resulted in a tragic surge in overdose deaths and an increase in homelessness and crime in these communities. A lack of access to counselling resources, mental health services, and appropriate educational materials have exacerbated the issue. The demand for action is therefore not just about combating drug abuse but ensuring the well-being of these communities as a whole.

Efforts Made to Combat the Opioid Crisis

Certain actions have been taken in an effort to combat the opioid crisis. For instance, the Alberta government has increased the distribution of naloxone kits – a medication used to block the effects of opioids, especially in overdose cases. Additionally, the Alberta government and about 50 First Nations are pursuing an opioid class action lawsuit against opioid manufacturers and distributors, accusing them of deceptive marketing and minimisation of the addictive risks of opioids.

Despite these efforts, the Grand Chiefs believe much more needs to be done. They are urging the government to increase resources for Indigenous populations, particularly with regards to counselling services for mental health and addiction, and culturally appropriate educational materials.

Key Points of the Article:

  • The opioid crisis in Canada, particularly in Indigenous communities of the Treaty 6 and 8 regions, is significantly contributing to rising death tolls, homelessness, and crime rates.
  • The Alberta government and about 50 First Nations are participating in an opioid class action lawsuit against opioid manufacturers and distributors.
  • Naloxone kits are increasingly being distributed to combat the opioid crisis.
  • The Grand Chiefs call for increased government support, particularly for access to counselling services for mental health and addiction, as well as culturally appropriate educational resources.


The opioid crisis continues to devastate communities across Canada, but marginalized populations like those in the Treaty 6 and 8 regions are hit the hardest. With rising death rates, homelessness and crime, the need for action is urgent and multifaceted. It’s not just about handling drug misuse but providing a holistic approach to mental health, education, and social support resources. While efforts such as distributing naloxone kits and initiating opioid class action lawsuits are commendable, they are still insufficient. Let the call to action from the Grand Chiefs serve as a reminder that there is much more work to be done.

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