Aboriginal chiefs renew plea for ambulance services – Montreal Gazette

September 21, 2016

When an accident happens on the remote reserve of Manawan, it’s a 90-minute drive on an unpaved dirt road to reach an ambulance, and about three hours more to get to the closest hospital.

This month’s tragic drowning death of an eight-year-old child should not have happened, Chief Jean-Roch Ottawa of the Conseil des Atikamekw de Manawan said in Montreal Wednesday. “But because of an absence of ambulance services, another one of our children died,” Ottawa said.

The Atikamekw community of Manawan in the Lanaudière region, 250 kilometres north of Montreal, has demanded emergency prehospitalization services or ambulance transport for its population of 2,500 for decades, Chief Ottawa said. Every time the government’s response has been no, he added.

“Is it because we are aboriginal? Are we second-class citizens? The drama of an eight-year-old dying …,” Ottawa said. “No parent in Quebec would accept this.”

Read More: http://montrealgazette.com/news/aboriginal-chiefs-renew-plea-for-ambulance-services

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