There is no clearer evidence of the maldistribution of wealth and of social services in Canada to the detriment of Indigenous people than the tuberculosis epidemic under way in the Arctic.
Last week, 14-year-old Gussie Bennett, from Nain, Labrador, died of tuberculosis. Nain’s last serious outbreak of TB was just in 2015. In January, 15-year-old Ileen Kooneeliusie, from Qikiqtarjuak, on Baffin Island, died. The screening program undertaken in the weeks following revealed 10 per cent of the population of Qikiqtarjuak to be infected. Across Nunavut, 17 of the 25 communities have cases of tuberculosis. But the largest of these outbreaks so far is the one in Arviat.