Mental health issues and addictions are often identified as key health concerns for First Nations people living on reserve or Northern communities. A strengths-based focus should be kept in mind while addressing the impacts of colonial history on First Nations people. The Indian Residential School (IRS) system traumatized generations of students, who were split from their families in an attempt to eradicate their language and culture. Disproportionately high numbers of children were also removed from their families in the Sixties Scoop, practices that continue to this day in what some call the “Millennial Scoop”. The consequent trauma often manifests itself in higher rates of suicide, mental health, and addictions issues in First Nations population and significant disparities in health between First Nations and the general population.
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