My name is Tracey Morrison. I am an Ojibwe woman who resides in the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver, BC. I volunteer and work in this very diverse community for 15 years and will continue to do so. I acknowledge that I can live, work and play on these unceded territories belonging to the Coast Salish People. Having respect for the people on which territory I live on is a must and writing this letter is a must.
When I hear the sad song of sirens that ring in my neighbourhood every day, all day I am dreading to hear the story if this person made it or not. This emergency crisis on Overdoses and the death toll here in this city I love so much is inconceivable, so hard to understand why can’t this problem be solved or helped? Why isn’t what we are doing, working? The Lights of emergency vehicle isn’t what I want to see every block I want to see Christmas lights.
I believe that the War on the Poor has a lot to do about this. The laws need to change which is a pipe dream. We as a society and residents of the Downtown Eastside need to ally together to do positive change. I know writing this letter is not going to do anything to change but for me it’s a start. I am going to send this letter to people I know, organizations and levels of different stakeholders.
I am proud to be part of The Naloxone Training at 501 Powell with the City (230 trained). I do a lot of my own outreach on the street thru selling of my bannock usually in the evenings. I want to also acknowledge all the unsung heroes in our community who are doing their part but ask yourself how can I help? Not just people who reside in the Downtown Eastside but all of the Greater Vancouver and Canada. All levels of government, all non-profits, BIA’s of Vancouver, health authorities (VCH, FNHA etc.), VPD, housing of all kinds, etc. That is all I want for Christmas for all to ally together and Stop the Drug War, Stop the War on the Poor and to be able all to work together and help our people who are the most criminalized, stigmatized, and marginalized.