‘Alcoholism is Colonialism’s Fault’

“BC Transplant says a misunderstanding about the guidelines concerning alcohol abstinence and liver transplants triggered a ‘human rights’ complaint filed earlier this week by a B.C. {aboriginal} man who has end-stage liver disease.

“David Dennis, who is ‘Carrier Sekani’ and ‘Nuu-chah-nulth’ {both are ‘Tribal Councils’, aka ‘aboriginal lobbying groups’}, alleged the policy had prevented him from getting on the transplant list, as he had not abstained from alcohol in the past six months. He alleged the policy was discriminatory against ‘indigenous’ {‘aboriginal’} people who have disproportionately higher rates of ‘alcohol use disorder’ {‘alcoholism’} due to
centuries of racist and harmful colonial policies“. 

“Ed Ferre, the provincial operations director at ‘BC Transplant’, said previous guidelines requiring patients to abstain from alcohol for six months in order to be eligible for a liver transplant were removed in May, 2019…”

–‘BC Transplant says misunderstanding led to liver transplant human rights case’,
CBC News, Aug. 15, 2019
“An ‘indigenous’ {they mean ‘aboriginal’} man in need of a liver transplant has filed a complaint with {the unConstitutional} B.C. Human Rights Tribunal over ‘BC Transplant’s six-month abstinence policy that has excluded him from the province-wide wait list.

“Filed jointly by the Union of BC Indian Chiefs and the Frank Paul Society, David Dennis, who is ‘Nuu-chah-nulth’, argues that the policy discriminates against ‘indigenous’ {‘aboriginal’} people, who have disproportionately higher rates of alcohol use disorder largely due to harmful colonial policies {?} but especially through the ‘intergenerational traumas’ of the Indian residential schools {??}.

The groups want an end to the abstinence policy, Dennis to be placed on the transplant list immediately and a declaration that the policy is discriminatory towards ‘indigenous’ {‘aboriginal’} people and those with alcohol use disorders {???}.

“According to a study published in the ‘Canadian Liver Journal’ by three doctors at the University of Western Ontario, most transplant programs require at least six months of sobriety for two reasons:
to identify patients who are at risk of relapsing, and to give time for recovering from any ongoing alcohol-related injuries or chemical dependence.

“Dennis said in a news release Tuesday that he has end-stage liver disease and is need of a life-saving transplant. While he has been sober since June, he won’t be placed on a transplant list unless he remains abstinent until December, as per BC Transplant’s “Abstinence Policy”…

I want to continue to live and be here for my children and family. But if I don’t make it, I want the Union of BC Indian Chiefs and Frank Paul Society to carry on and get rid of this ‘lethal form of racism’ {?},”
Dennis said.

“The complaint names the Ministry of Health, the Provincial Health Services Agency, Vancouver Coastal Health and the BC Transplant Society.

{Anti-Canadian} Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, called the policy “antiquated [and] moralizing{seemingly because he has no problem with the high rates of alcoholism in aboriginal communities}, and one that “disproportionately punishes ‘indigenous’ {‘aboriginal’} peoples without any scientific rationale”.

{? It only “disproportionately punishes” them because of the alcoholism issue that YOU should be addressing!}

“He added that this could make an easy win for the provincial government in making good on its commitment toward {one-way} ‘reconciliation’ and ‘equity’, as recommended in the {Partial} Truth and {One-way} ‘Reconciliation’ Commission “Calls to {One-sided} Action”.

The proper response to ‘indigenous’ {‘aboriginal’} peoples whose lives have been affected by ‘intergenerational trauma’ and oppressive colonial policies should include empathy and understanding, not another door shut to ‘justice and equality’,” {?}
he said…”

“‘Black Press Media’ has reached out to BC Transplant for comment.”

–‘Dying Indigenous man alleges BC Transplant’s alcohol abstinence policy is racist’,
ASHLEY WADHWANI, Penticton Western News, Aug. 13, 2019
See also:
Native Americans Were Not Introduced to Alcohol by Europeans‘:

“People have been making alcohol since the dawn of civilization. In the Levant, archeologists have found evidence that “brewing of beer was an important aspect of feasting and society in the Late Epipaleolithic era” (12,000-9,500 BC). As the Natufians possessed only stone tools and basic technology, clearly it doesn’t take much to make a simple brew.

“This was certainly the case in North America, where a number of Native American peoples had been making alcoholic beverages using various simple methods since long before first contact.

“In Mexico, some believe Native Americans used a corn precursor to make a brewed drink; they note: “the ancestral grass of modern maize, teosinte, was well suited for making beer – but was much less so for making corn flour”. In addition, it is well established that Mexican Native Americans prepared “over forty different alcoholic beverages [from] . . . a variety of plant substances, such as honey, palm sap, wild plum, and pineapple”.

“In the Southwestern U.S., the Papago, Piman, Apache and Maricopa all used the saguaro cactus to produce a wine, sometimes called ‘haren a pitahaya’. Similarly, the Apache fermented corn to make tiswin (also called tulpi and tulapai) and the yucca plant to make a different alcoholic beverage.

“The Coahuiltecan in Texas combined mountain laurel with the Agave plant to create an alcoholic drink, and the Pueblos and Zunis were believed to have made fermented beverages from aloe, maguey, corn, prickly pear, pitahaya and even grapes.

“To the east, the Creek of Georgia and Cherokee of the Carolinas used berries and other fruits to make alcoholic beverages, and in the Northeast, “there is some evidence that the Huron made a mild beer made from corn”. In addition, despite the fact that they had little to no agriculture, both the Aleuts and Yuit of Alaska were believed to have made alcoholic drinks from fermented berries…”

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