Ottawa sends body bags to Manitoba reserves
Aboriginal leaders in Manitoba are horrified that some of the reserves hardest hit by swine flu in the spring have received dozens of body bags from Health Canada.
The body bags — which were sent to the remote northern reserves of Wasagamack and God's River First Nation — came in a shipment of hand sanitizers and face masks.
Grand Chief David Harper, who represents northern First Nations, says body bags send the wrong message and no one can understand why Ottawa would do such a thing.
"It really makes me wonder if health officials know something we don't," he said. "I have a right to speak for my people. I make a plea to the people of Canada to work with us to ensure the lowest fatalities from this monster virus. Don't send us body bags. Help us organize; send us medicine."
Now where have I seen this before....?
"Is the body bags a statement from Canada that we as First Nations are on our own?" Wasagamack Chief Jerry Knott asked. He said his community's nursing station received about 30 body bags.
Knott flew to Winnipeg with the bags on Wednesday and took them to the Health Canada building on York Avenue.
The office was closed at the time, so he stacked the bags on the doorstep and marked them "return to sender."