"Epidemics of obesity, diabetes, infectious diseases and suicide that plague First Nation children across Canada are complex and multi-faceted. Yet government solutions often focus on simplistic bio-medical approaches — when they address the crises at all — and too often ignore the cultural strategies proposed by indigenous leaders themselves, which address indigenous relationships with language, tradition and land.
...The most poignant example of the power of culture comes from a study of the 196 First Nations bands in British Columbia, where suicide rates were 140 times higher among communities with no cultural continuity, compared to those with the highest levels. Cultural continuity was defined as measures of self-governance over education, health, established cultural facilities and titles over land.
...Policy-makers are finally starting to pay attention to the connection between culture and health and how that may offer ways to address health crises among Canada’s indigenous peoples."