Statement Issued on Haudenosaunee Medicine

Aboriginal Health Report
Regaining a solid respect for the past while embracing the future is a challenge for Canada's Aboriginal Youth
Regaining a solid respect for the past while embracing the future is a challenge for Canada’s Aboriginal Youth

TORONTO – Health – On Friday, April 24, 2015 the Government of Ontario, Six Nations and J.J.’s family released the following statement:

“Earlier this afternoon, all parties to a proceeding dealing with the treatment of an 11 year old girl known as “J.J.” from the Six Nations of the Grand River, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, appeared before Justice Edward to seek clarification on his reasons for decision dated November 14, 2014.

Justice Edward released an addendum to his decision that recognizes that Haudenosaunee medicine is an integral aspect of the Haudenosaunee identity as a people. As such, it has the protection of the Canadian constitution as an Aboriginal right.

Justice Edward’s addendum further clarifies that the best interests of the child are paramount and that the Aboriginal right to practice traditional medicine must be respected. The practice of this right can and may work together with other approaches to health care.

This clarification now allows the family to proceed, with peace of mind and privacy, with their daughter’s treatment, using the best that both medicines have to offer. The clarification also enables and encourages governments, agencies, hospitals and health care practitioners to continue important conversations about an integrated approach to health care, one that respects and can bring together different healing traditions.”

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