Victoria – The BC Provincial Government has proclaimed November Indigenous Disability Awareness Month.
Acting on a recommendation from the British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS), B.C. became the first province in Canada to dedicate November to Indigenous people with disabilities in 2015, along with the Métis Nation British Columbia and BC First Nations Summit. The Assembly of First Nations, the Council of Yukon First Nations and the Province of Saskatchewan all recognized and proclaimed the month in 2016.
In April 2017, BCANDS made a presentation to the United Nations International Committee on the Convention of the Rights of People with Disabilities in Geneva. BCANDS made recommendations to the committee to help address barriers experienced by Indigenous people and their families in Canada.
- Approximately 334,000 British Columbians, between the ages of 15 and 64 years, self-identify as having disabilities.
- People with disabilities are twice as likely to live in poverty compared to people without disabilities.
- There are 203 First Nations in British Columbia.
- Approximately 270,000 Indigenous people live in B.C., roughly 6% of the population. (Source: Statistics Canada Census 2016, B.C. Profile).
- There are significant health disparities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. Indigenous people in B.C. have higher prevalence of diabetes, infant mortality, youth suicide and lower life expectancy than non-Indigenous people. (Source: Provincial Health Officer’s Report – First Nations Health and Well Being, Interim Report, 2015).
To view the proclamation: http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/proclamations/proclamations/IndDisAwrMnth2017
For more information on the British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society: www.bcands.bc.ca
For more information about British Columbia’s Accessibility plan: https://gov.bc.ca/Accessibility