Breaking down the barriers Indigenous people face in Canada’s health-care system

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by pmnationtalk on May 20, 2024121 Views

Credit: Patients for Patient Safety Canada

Samaria Cardinal’s journey from homelessness and despair to empowerment and advocacy underscores the profound impact of trauma and misdiagnosis on Indigenous individuals within Canada’s healthcare system. Raised by a father who suffered from trauma inflicted by residential schools, Samaria struggled with drug addiction and mental health issues, exacerbated by misdiagnosis and mistreatment within medical and mental health facilities.

Despite facing severe challenges and enduring a debilitating condition known as tardive dyskinesia due to overmedication, Samaria found the strength to overcome her circumstances and rebuild her life. Supported by loved ones and guided by her Métis heritage, she pursued holistic approaches to healing and broke free from dependency on medications. Rejecting the victim label imposed by her past experiences, Samaria emerged as a resilient advocate for Indigenous healthcare reform.

Samaria’s advocacy focuses on promoting cultural competence and understanding within the healthcare system, advocating for the inclusion of Indigenous Elders to provide support and guidance to patients. She emphasizes the importance of careful diagnosis and labeling, cautioning against the stigma and judgment that often accompany mental health diagnoses.

Through her own healing journey and reconciliation with her father, Samaria exemplifies the transformative power of resilience and self-empowerment. Her involvement with Patients for Patient Safety Canada reflects her commitment to sharing her story and advocating for meaningful change within the healthcare system.

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