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  • as First Nations people in this province, we only make up roughly 3% of the overall population, but we make up over 13% of overdose deaths.

  • I'll say that again, 3% of the overall population, over 13% of overdose deaths.

  • A swell Good day, everyone.

  • My name is Len Pierre.

  • My ancestral name is political.

  • Look.

  • I am Coast Salish from Kate see First Nation on my father's side and must win first nation on my mother's side, which is one of the host territories on which we're gathered today.

  • I am a father, a loving partner, a traditional knowledge keeper in my community.

  • I am also an indigenous, are an instructor in indigenous education.

  • I teach indigenous history, indigenous culture and contemporary issues within the health care setting and within the university setting.

  • And through this work, I have found incredible value in what I call a bridging of world, a bridging of realities.

  • And to me, that is what decolonization is all about.

  • To me, decolonization is about the deconstruction dismantling and disrupting cultural barriers that separate us, suppress us and quite often, oppress us.

  • Decolonization is really about expanding our social perceptions and if you will allow tap into our indigenous world view about matters so complicated and complex, such as talking about drugs.

  • And if you don't think that drugs is complicated, talking about drugs is complicated.

  • A complex at your next family dinner.

  • There's a little bit of hesitation there because you don't want to spoil the mood at the dinner table.

  • That's the essence of our talk and conversation.

  • Today is how we're going to continue this conversation in a good way amidst to an overdose crisis through an indigenous worldview, because within our world view, there's something to be gained and something to be learned.

  • There's an ancient wisdom and a breadth of knowledge that can contribute to very important societal matters that we talk about across the globe, matters of social justice and matters of environmental protection.

  • Now I can go on and on and on and on about the value in and benefits of de colonial work.

  • That's a hole of a dead duck.

  • Today.

  • I would like to talk about de colonizing substance use and addiction.

  • I would like to take a moment to separate those two for you.

  • I think quite often we hear about them and their used interchangeably.

  • But a big part of our work today is differentiating the tomb, and I'm going to use this as an example.

  • How many of you have heard of the overdose crisis in the media show of hands?

  • Almost all of us.

  • And where's the media Really good at telling us that this crisis is contained in large cities, back alleyways and within the homeless population, right?

  • We lose roughly four people a day in this overdose crisis.

  • Now that may or may not seem like a large number to you, but those four people a day over the span of a year add up to over 1500 British Colombian citizens.

  • 1500 A big part of our work today, moving forward is carrying on a conversation.

  • If we're not talking about this, we're not exchanging life saving, fax factual information that can save lives.

  • And drastically, we're, uh, change the tide of this overdose crisis.

  • So decolonization work is also really about de stigmatizing substance use because at the end of the day, stigma is a really enemy here.

  • Nobody wants to come out and say, Have a conversation about drugs out of fear of the stigmas associated with it.

  • There in we cannot have a safe conversation stigmas the really real enemy here and for us as an indigenous folks, we have a few lessons that we've learned about social stigma.

  • What have we learned?

  • We learned that stigma really requires four key things to survive.

  • Lack of context.

  • Miss information.

  • I also called the myths, discriminatory language and bad policy.

  • I was trying to come up with some really good scholarly and professional way of describing bad policy, but it's just bad policy, So D stick.

  • How do we go about moving forward in a good way?

  • We want to de stigmatize and a game reflecting on what we've learned with an indigenous perspective.

  • What is our lack of context if we're over representative overdose, substance use and death?

  • What is our missing context?

  • We take colonialism as one of the root causes of addiction, and we highlight three colonial events.

  • The residential schools, the 60 scoop and land theft now says indigenous folks we have survived are endured many, many, many colonial events, but for this activity will only focus on these three.

  • Each colonial event will leave behind certain residues.

  • I call them so for the residential schools, in case you're not familiar with them was a Canadian assimilation policy implemented by the government of Canada and religious churches.

  • And this assimilation policy of what it did is it removed every single indigenous child from their communities and put them in boarding schools for 10 months out of the year.

  • This occurred through the ages of 6 to 16 roughly and during our Children stay in these schools, it was quite the norm.

  • It was quite common for our Children to experience sexual and physical torture, starvation and, in some cases, being beaten to death by the staff.

  • This was in place for well over 100 years from coast to coast.

  • Tell me that doesn't leave certain residues behind in the community.

  • After 100 years.

  • I call them residues.

  • Whatever the residues that we see left in community a sense of fear, usually towards authority, figures and institutions, a sense of shame, usually internally and a sense of learned helplessness, which really instills a sense of hopelessness.

  • And from the 60 scoop, how many of us are familiar with 60 scoop?

  • Not a lot of us.

  • That's okay.

  • That's why I'm here.

  • In the 19 sixties, when the residential schools was slowly being phased out, the Canadian government and all its colonial brilliance implemented a new assimilation policy that would continue to remove indigenous Children from their families and their communities and instead of putting them in boarding schools, put them in the foster care system often never with valid reasons for the forced removal of Children.

  • Our Children worse end without intention of returning these Children home.

  • Our Children were often sent self of the border and in some cases, sent across the ocean to other continents.

  • When I stand here, my elders remind me that lend when you're doing this talk, it's important to remind us as a community that just because this is called the 60 Scoop doesn't mean it ended in the 19 sixties.

  • It still goes on.

  • Today.

  • We have more Children in the foster care system today than have ever attended the residential schools at the peak of its operation.

  • And what do we think?

  • Residues air left behind after this clonal event, sense of isolation, loss of identity and most definitely a loss of rates, and from lamb theft where we take our traditional territory of what we used to use to sustain us and we reduce it to less than 0.5%.

  • What are the residues that are left behind?

  • Poverty, lack of housing and loss of freedom.

  • Now, if we were to pool all those residues together and give them a theme, what would we call them?

  • We call them a sense of trauma, grief, loss in a sense of daily stress.

  • Now I look to you and I asked, Can we meet?

  • And can we agree that trauma, grief loss and daily stress our drivers and re enforcers for addiction?

  • Is there a relationship there?

  • Yes.

  • So this is our missing context.

  • So if you have it within a community based conversations with your friend group of your family group, that addiction is a choice.

  • I invite you now to remove that from your vocabulary and your conversations that we do not choose to be addicted.

  • We use addiction to feel good about something very bad has happened.

  • This is the missing context.

  • These are difficult conversations tohave.

  • I know.

  • Look at me.

  • I'm sweating.

  • Um, but this is really how we expand our social perceptions by sitting in our own discomfort first, long as we can possibly bear it listening, learning and then validating that information.

  • This is the missing context.

  • After missing context, substance use, uh, stigma with a substance use needs a whole lot of misinformation to survive.

  • I call it Misinformation Mountain, because it's way too easy to pick up our phones, open up our social media app and be exposed to all kinds of incorrect information.

  • Um, I have one I'll share with you.

  • I hear this all the time and it goes like this.

  • We just need to kick out all the people who sell drugs out of the community.

  • That'll solve the problem.

  • Sound familiar?

  • That is a microcosm of Canada's war on drugs.

  • On Lee, if we take on a war on drugs, do you think that drugs can pick up a weapon and fight you back?

  • No.

  • This is a war on her own people Onley that war on our own people are the most marginalized and vulnerable sectors of our community.

  • At the end of the day, what we know for sure is that prohibition is a failed policy.

  • Hence that policy and prohibition is doesn't work.

  • It's a failed experiment, and it's easy to think about this.

  • If we think back to the United States in the early 19 thirties, when alcohol was prohibited during our before Prohibition, what do we think the number one alcohol was that was consumed beer during Prohibition?

  • What do you think the number one alcohol was that was consumed?

  • Moonshine, Moonshine.

  • Prohibition equals potency, and it doesn't work.

  • So if you encounter that that that myth, that misinformation, I also invite you to drop that decide.

  • It's inaccurate information.

  • It doesn't work.

  • The accurate information is that Prohibition doesn't work.

  • Lack of context.

  • Misinformation, discriminating language.

  • If there is one thing, one thing you walk away with from this talk, please, please let it be re examining and reusing and rethinking the way we use language when we talk about drugs, substance use and addiction, because what do we often hear when we're talking about people who use substances?

  • We often hear the term user addict or junkie, and I say that this is really important because language the language of youse, has this funny relationship in our brain that constructs our thoughts and our thoughts constructor believes in our beliefs are going thio inform how we treat people who are using substances.

  • So what I say is use people first language, people who use drugs, people who drink, people who smoke because we don't want to be defined by our behaviors.

  • We want to be defined as people first and a gain from our indigenous community.

  • We've learned a thing or two.

  • We've had all sorts of derogatory terms that have been applied to us over the years.

  • Words I will not even utter on a public stage like a ted talk.

  • So please, please, if there's one thing that you take away, let it be reusing a rethinking the way we talk about substance, c'est and people raising drugs because it's dehumanizing language, really.

  • At the end of the day, after discriminating language, it's bad policy.

  • So I've already mentioned that Prohibition is a failed experiment.

  • Prohibition is also rooted in racism, so to kind of frame this piece of the conversation, we the overdose crisis is also referred to as the opioid crisis.

  • Opioids are nothing new.

  • Opioids have been used for a very, very long time.

  • So when, where and why did hope your opioid use become illegal again, Coming back to our local neighbourhood here in downtown Vancouver, Um, who built the Canadian roaming Asian immigrants and when the Canadian railway was built, are finished and completed in the early 19 hundreds.

  • We had a massive unemployment problem, So what happened was that there were race riots in downtown Vancouver and must win.

  • First Nation has accounts of this where gas town burned down.

  • Um, and so what happens?

  • The minister of labor at the time, who would later become prime minister, comes all the way out from Ottawa to downtown Vancouver.

  • Sees that there's a race problem goes all the way back to Ottawa, and implements and births the policy for prohibiting opioid use for the Asian population.

  • All prohibition policies are rooted in racism.

  • Pick any drug and you find out its source of origin.

  • It's gonna come from racist ideology.

  • The thing about policy is that there's a little bit of good news, because who creates Canadian policy?

  • We do.

  • You, me, we us we create those policies and policies can be changed.

  • Countries around the world today have already abolish their prohibition policies by decriminalizing people who use substances.

  • Our own provincial health officer in British Columbia has made this call put a call up for the decriminalization of people who use substances.

  • We waste millions and millions and millions of dollars a year on the war on drugs.

  • Imagine what healing could transpire if we invested that money into prevention, harm, reduction and treatment.

  • I raised my hands to each and every one of you for picking up the fight of colonial harms that harm Canadian women.

  • LGBT Q two folks, people of color, people with disabilities and people who use drugs.

  • If there's one thing that you're looking for today, please let it be continuing on this conversation but applying it with the D Colonial lens and you could you see what we've learned as an indigenous community over the years is that we can transform the direction of our community by reconstructing the way we're talking about our traumas and spin them in a positive direction, a direction that is inclusive, compassionate toward fellow citizens, and engaging to the folks who this topic matters most to love and care for wholeheartedly.

as First Nations people in this province, we only make up roughly 3% of the overall population, but we make up over 13% of overdose deaths.

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物質使用與成癮的非殖民化|Len Pierre|TEDxSFU (Decolonizing Substance Use & Addiction | Len Pierre | TEDxSFU)

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    林宜悉 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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