CANADA: High infant mortality rate among aboriginal peoples in British Columbia

A report released by Statistics Canada in August and recently published in the International Journal of Epidemiology stated that indigenous peoples born in the province of British Columbia are three times more likely to die after birth then non-native infants. The report was formed with infant mortality data from 1981-2000. It was found that a large number of native infants die from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), which is preventable. Even though the infant death rate is high compared to non-Native infant deaths rates, this report actually demonstrates improvements in heath care over the past two decades. Infant mortality rates declined by roughly 65 percent for First Nation infants in rural areas of British Columbia, and there was a decline of almost 50 percent for infants born in urban areas. The aboriginal population of British Columbia is more than four percent, which is the second highest percentage of indigenous peoples in one Canadian province, after Nunavut.