In the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, many activists and organizers in the neighborhood of East Side (DTES) initiated a campaign in 1990 to change policies regarding intraveneous drug use. Intravenous drug use was rampant – the spread of HIV/AIDS, drug overdoses and deaths were reaching epidemic proportions. From 1988 – 1993 illicit drug deaths in British Columbia increased 800% and 60% of these cases took place in Vancouver.
Attawapiskat First Nation is a small community located on James Bay approximately 220 kilometers north of Moosonee, Ontario. Attawapiskat was home to a courageous and passionate young woman named Shannen Koostachin. Shannen led a campaign of school children to fight for the right to “safe and comfy” schools and quality, culturally based education for First Nations children all across Canada.