Cartwright-L’Anse au Clair MHA Yvonne Jones says she's urging the provincial government to identify the shortcomings in its approach to deal with the gas-sniffing crisis since the relocation of the Innu of Davis Inlet to Natuashish 10 years ago.
“A decade has passed since the relocation,” Jones said in a news release,“yet, the issue remains. Parents are desperate for intervention, and clearly, the original response to the crisis has not been successful.”
In consultation with the Innu and Health Canada when the story broke more than a decade ago, children were sent to the former Grace Hospital in St. John's for treatment. A regional detoxification centre was established in response to the issue and, at the time, the Innu presented a detailed document, highlighting numerous other long-term initiatives needed.
“All parties came together to attempt to address this crisis with the best of intentions,” said Jones, “though the roots of the problem have not been eradicated."
She wonders how the provincial government will move forward, in consultation with the Innu, the regional health authorities and Health Canada, to address the problem.
Torngat Mountains MHA Randy Edmunds said he's saddened to see that this issue has never been resolved, and the attitude, ‘if we leave it alone, maybe it will go away,’ has to change.”
According to the provincial Liberals, as of December 2011, there were 272 children in care in Labrador, with 246 of those being Aboriginal. Of those, 220 were in foster care, 14 in group homes, three in independent living arrangements and 35 out of province.