New Credit chief hopes cancer protocol helps forge better understanding –

The chief of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation hopes a new agreement with the province’s principal adviser on cancer leads to greater trust between his community and the medical system.

The small first nation near Hagersville joins six other Indigenous communities and organizations that have signed “relationship protocols” with Cancer Care Ontario.

Chief Stacey LaForme says the death of an 11-year-old girl who refused chemotherapy in favour of traditional medicine in January 2015 moved the protocol forward for New Credit.

“That was a catalyst for moving this forward,” LaForme said, calling Makayla Sault a “little treasure in our nation.”

For her supporters, the girl was hailed as a trailblazer for Indigenous rights, as her decision, backed by her parents, provoked an emotional debate about consent and the state’s role in forcing medical treatment.

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