A screen shot from the opening of the short documentary, Calling of the Heart. (Calling of the Heart/SSA)

VIDEO: Reframing the B.C. overdose crisis from an Indigenous perspective

Indigenous women experience higher OD rates and the doc acknowledges this disproportionality

The short and sharp documentary film, Calling of the Heart, focused on reframing the B.C. overdose crisis from an Indigenous lens premiered online on Oct. 7.

Just in time, too, since summer 2020 was up there as the worst ever for drug overdoses stemming from an extremely toxic supply, according to the new doc from Stólō Services Agency (SSA).

The idea for the film, Á:ylexw tel Th’á:á (Calling of the Heart), was Jade Black’s, Overdose Awareness Education Network coordinator for SSA.

“I came up with the idea to create a mini-documentary as a way to summarize my overdose prevention work in the community,” Black told The Progress.

Instead of another written report they decided that a film incorporating the Stó:lō perspective would impact more people, prompting more to seek care, and to normalize the stigmatized topics of addiction and overdose.

The short film was released online Oct. 7 by Sto:lo Service Agency from their Sto:lo Nation Facebook page.

“The project is unique because it incorporates aspects of the Stó:lō worldview, considering culture and language,” Black said.

“Indigenous women experience higher rates of overdose in this community and the project made effort to acknowledge this disproportionality.”

READ MORE: New film on the overdose crisis

The pandemic has allowed the overdose crisis to continue unabated and largely undiscussed.

“We’re having an overdose crisis right here and now in our own community,” Inez Louis, a nurse with Stólō Nation says in the film.

Asked about her fondest hopes for the film, Black added:

”It is my hope that community members will be inspired to reframe how they perceive and discuss addiction and overdose risk in this community. “

“It is my hope that those who are struggling with opioid use will seek medical care, resources and supports to confidently begin on their own healing journey.

“It is my hope that we can further normalize the conversation and experience of coping with substances/opioids and start focusing on solution-focused responses to the current opioid crisis.

“It is my hope that the video calls to the hearts of the people in this community and provokes them to change how they support, love and hold space for those struggling with addiction.”

READ MORE: Handling the pandemic with facts


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
jfeinberg@theprogress.com


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