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Mar 17-23 Health News

April 10th, 2012

Judges must consider history when sentencing aboriginals: Supreme Court

Mar. 23, 2012: (Kirk Martin, Globe and Mail) -- Sentencing judges who do not carefully consider lenient or creative sentences for aboriginal offenders are violating the law, the Supreme Court of Canada said in a major aboriginal law decision today.

Releasing rulings in a pair of much-anticipated cases that go to the heart of separate treatment for aboriginal offenders, the court said that considering factors such as cultural oppression and a history of abuse in the residential school system must be central to the sentencing process.  Read more...

Aboriginals of Australia: Sixth National Close-the-Gap Day

March 23, 2012: (Oxfam Australia Media) -- The sixth annual National Close-the-Gap Day took place in Australia, with more than 120,000 people taking part in events across the country to mark the occasion. Since its launch in 2007, National Close-the-Gap Day has lobbied the Australian Government to work on long-term initiatives to end the gap in health equality.  Read more...

AFN Celebrates World Water Day 2012 and the Importance of Food Security for First Nations in Canada

March 22, 2012: (Canada NewsWire) -- The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) joins the world in observing World Water Day 2012. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations will host the official ceremony of UN Water World Water Day 2012 under the theme of Water and Food Security.

"This year's theme is important for First Nations as many struggle to secure adequate supplies of both safe water and nutritious foods," AFN National Chief Atleo said. "The AFN recently convened a water rights conference and First Nations are united in upholding our rights and our duty towards water. We all understand that access to fresh water is the key for safe and healthy communities and nutritious foods are essential to personal health."   Read more...

Fitness Takes Hold in Aboriginal Country With Just Move It—Canada

March 22, 2012: (ICTMN Staff) -- Aboriginals in Canada have joined their American Indian and Alaska Native cousins and are learning to shake their booty, traditionally speaking.

The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) joined with well known fitness advocates on March 19 to launch Just Move It—Canada, an online fitness initiative that capitalizes on indigenous strengths to get people into physical activity.  Read more...

Media Advisory: Her Excellency Sharon Johnston to Host a Round Table on First Nations, Inuit and Metis Health and Healing

Mar 22, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Her Excellency Sharon Johnston will host the round table Taking Action to Improve the Health and Healing of First Nations, Inuit and Metis Families and Communities, at Rideau Hall, on Tuesday, March 27, 2012, from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.  Read more...

Action Against Tuberculosis Among Canada's First Nations People

Mar 21, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Factsheet: Health Canada's Strategy Against Tuberculosis for First Nations On-Reserve

As part of the Government of Canada's commitment to reducing the rate of tuberculosis (TB) among Canada's First Nations people, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, today released Health Canada's Strategy Against Tuberculosis for First Nations On-Reserve.  Read more...

Health: First Nations and Inuit Launch New National Fitness Initiative

March 20, 2012 (Posted in Aboriginal Health News, NAHO)  --  Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) President Mary Simon, together with champions of Indigenous fitness and wellness from across Canada, today announced the launch of an online, community-based physical activity and wellness initiative aimed at improving health and fitness among indigenous communities in Canada.

The first of its kind in the country, Just Move It – Canada will chronicle new and existing initiatives, programs or projects promoting physical activity and wellness in First Nation and Inuit communities driven by or aimed at, but not limited to, First Nation and Inuit cultures and traditions.  Read more...

Cell phone research suggests fetal risk

Study in pregnant mice finds behavioral, brain deficits in offspring
March 19th, 2012 (By Laura Sanders, Science News) -- Round-the-clock cell phone radiation may harm growing brains, a mouse study suggests. Mice exposed to an active phone for the duration of a pregnancy gave birth to pups that displayed long-lasting behavioral and brain abnormalities, researchers write March 15 in Scientific Reports.

Although the results indicate that chronic exposure to cell phone radiation can disrupt the fetal brain in mice, it’s unclear whether the same holds true for people. “The paper is an interesting paper. There are no two ways around that,” says Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Bethesda, Md., who has studied the effects of cell phone radiation. “The issue is, ultimately, what is the significance to humans?”  Read more...

Native diabetes expert warns of disease-related risks

Mar 19, 2012:(Sudbury Northern Life Staff) -- Diabetes is a disease many Aboriginal families battle.

Diabetes was rare among the Aboriginal population prior to 1940, according to Statistics Canada. Today, though, the situation has reached epidemic levels. Close to nine per cent of Aboriginal individuals living in urban centres have diabetes, compared to six per cent of non-Aboriginal people.

There is also have a greater chance of getting Type 2 diabetes, which is much more prevalent in Aboriginal children then non-Aboriginal children.  Read more...

Yukon gov't in talks with First Nations over alcohol and drug treatment

Premier says one central treatment centre would be more effective

Mar 19, 2012 (CBC News) -- The Yukon government is asking First Nations if they would support one central alcohol and drug treatment facility for the territory.

Premier Darrell Pasloski said his government will provide $1 million over four years for treatment. But it will be more effective if there's a central program, he said.  Read more...

Aboriginal health complexly linked to socioeconomic factors

17 March 2012 (Chris Thomas, Western Australia Social Network) -- Do social conditions have a pronounced influence on Australian Aboriginal populations?

While people intuitively expect people who are better off to have better health, Aboriginal children of a higher status were more likely to have asthma, oral health problems, an injury or been in an accident, according to a new study.

The Telethon Institute for Child Health Research’s Socioeconomic disparities in physical health among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in Western Australia explored several indicators: asthma, chest and ear infections, oral health, accidents, injuries and vision, hearing and speech problems.  Read more...

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