APTN National News
An Ontario judge has ruled a First Nations girl, 11, with leukemia can forego chemotherapy for traditional Indigenous methods to fight the disease after a children’s hospital sought to have the girl forced into chemo.
The Six Nations girl was removed from chemotherapy treatment at McMaster Children’s Hospital in mid-September by her mother who wanted to use alternative methods, including a trip to Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida.
McMaster tried to get Brant Family and Children’s Services intervene but the agency refused, so the hospital took the case to the courts.
The judge ruled Friday it was the family’s right to use Indigenous medicines or methods. The courtroom erupted in applause.
There is a publication ban on the girl’s name.
“I had initially went against my beliefs and logic and started chemotherapy at the McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton Ontario,” the mom told APTN recently.” After 10 days, I stopped it due to my conflict and decided to treat her cancer with our traditional medicines from our ancient Indigenous knowledge and using the practices of nutrition as medicine, supplements along with other therapies offered at Hippocrates.”
The mom said she didn’t come to the decision lightly.
“This is our daughter. We love her more than anyone in this world. We would not make a choice that would compromise her health or life. There is enough case evidence behind Onkwehonwe medicine and the practices at (Hippocrates) that we know we have made the right choice,” she said.
Lawyers said outside the courthouse the mom hasn’t completely ruled out chemo should it be necessary.
The family and friends are expected to celebrate the decision with a big feast.
“This is monumental,” said New Credit Chief Bryan LaForme. “It reaffirms our right to be Indian and practice our medicines in the traditional way.”