A Brief Note On The Aboriginal Peoples And The Canadian Constitution

1123 Words Nov 30th, 2014 5 Pages

Aboriginal peoples are the descendants of the original inhabitants of North America and the Canadian Constitution recognized three groups of Aboriginal people– Indians, Metis, and Inuit. The total population of Aboriginal people in Canada is approximately 1.5 million with the Indians (now refereed to as First Nations) being 57%, the Metis 33% and the Inuit about 10% of the total population of Aboriginal people. (National Aboriginal Health Organization 2003) According to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), an estimated 18% of the Aboriginal population meet the criteria for clinical depression compared to non-aboriginals which are estimated at 8.2% (PHAC 2011)

According to standard scales used on Statistics Canada surveys in 2001, 12% of First Nations and 3.1% of Inuit suffered a major depressive episode and 6.4% were at high risk of depression. (Statistics Canada 2001, Kirmayer et al 1999) However, these findings are difficult to reconcile with the extremely high suicide rates in most of these Inuit regions at that time. Also it’s assumed that depression, especially among men, may not be acknowledged, but manifests itself as alcohol problems, violence or conflict with the law instead. (Kirmayer et al, 1999)

Another provincial survey in Ontario estimated that 16% of adults in First Nations communities met the criteria for major depression, which was twice the Canadian average. (PHAC, 2011) In addition, the people affected were more likely than other Canadians…

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