June 21st is National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada, a day to celebrate the heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis.
At Distress Centre, we know that Indigenous people face unique issues, due to the trauma and colonialism Indigenous people have experienced. Unfortunately, according to the Centre for Suicide Prevention, Indigenous people in Canada have nearly 4 times the risk of severe trauma than the non-Indigenous population.
We hear about the needs of Indigenous people in Calgary on our 211 line and online chat service. In 2018, service users who identified as Indigenous accounted for only 0.4% of total contacts. The top issues experienced by those users were housing and financial needs.
Our Community Resource Specialists were able to connect them with some of the excellent Indigenous-serving agencies in Calgary, such as Awo Taan Healing Lodge Society and the Aboriginal Friendship Centre of Calgary. We’ve been highlighting Indigenous-serving agencies in Calgary for all of June on 211 Calgary’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
We encourage Indigenous individuals in need of support to contact 211 by phone or online chat, to get connected to the right service for their issue.