INDIGENOUS DISABILITY AWARENESS MONTH
Indigenous Disability Awareness Month (IDAM) was first recognized and officially proclaimed in November 2015 by the Métis Nation British Columbia, the BC First Nations Summit and the Province of British Columbia. In 2016, the Assembly of First Nations, the Council of Yukon First Nations and the Province of Saskatchewan followed suit by also recognizing and proclaiming November as Indigenous Disability Awareness Month.
IDAM is one of the first and only observations specific to Indigenous peoples living with disabilities, anywhere in the world. It was created to raise awareness of the often unique issues and circumstances faced by the Indigenous population of Canada who live with disabilities, while recognizing the valuable contribution they bring to our communities on a daily basis. According to the British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS), Indigenous peoples in Canada experience a rate of disability twice that of the non-Indigenous population. The prevalence of disability among Indigenous peoples, combined with the challenges faced by Indigenous communities (such as poverty; limited (access to) resources and infrastructure; jurisdictional issues; remoteness and transportation; experienced discrimination/racism, etc) further compound the challenges faced by Indigenous peoples with disability.