“The Piikani Nation: Battling Canada’s Ongoing Opioid Crisis”

The Piikani Nation, near Calgary, has declared a state of emergency due to a significant increase in opioid-related deaths, highlighting the ongoing crisis in Canada.

The Ongoing Canadian Ongoing Opioid Crisis: The Case of Piikani Nation

In recent years, a public health emergency has unfolded across North America in the form of a deadly opioid crisis. Seemingly no demographic or geographic entity has been left untouched, from urban centers to rural communities and indigenous nations. A remarkable case of interest in this unfolding tragedy is the Piikani Nation, located near Calgary, which declared a state of emergency in response to a significant rise in drug-related deaths.

The Heart of The Calgary Opioid Crisis

The indigenous Piikani Nation declared a community state of emergency following a sharp, alarming rise in opioid-related deaths. Traditionally a tight-knit community of about 3,600 members, the community experienced ten deaths within the space of a year, along with numerous overdoses. The declaration aims to raise awareness of the crippling opioid crisis and to secure resources to fight it from federal and provincial governments. The Chief of the Piikani Nation described the situation as, “Our young people are dying. Our community members are dying”.

Indigenous Communities and the Opioid Crisis

The opioid crisis has harshly affected indigenous communities across Canada. Among the Piikani Nation, opioids are the primary drugs leading to deaths and overdoses. This is reflective of a wider problem across potentially vulnerable populations in the country. The crisis exposes the urgency for focussed support and tailored resources to support these communities.

The Actions Taken to Combat the Opioid Crisis

The Piikani Nation has joined the Canadian opioid abatement class action along with several other First Nation communities. This multi-billion dollar lawsuit focuses on more than forty opioid companies that are alleged to have acted negligently in the marketing and distribution of opioids. Also, efforts to act against the crisis locally are in progress, with investment in support services and a push towards greater community cohesion and unity.

Key Points:

  • The Piikani Nation, a close-knit indigenous community located near Calgary, declared a state of emergency in response to an alarming increase in opioid-related deaths and overdoses.
  • Opioids are the leading cause of drug-related fatalities within the Piikani Nation, reflecting a larger, national issue affecting potentially vulnerable populations across the country.
  • The Piikani Nation has joined the Canadian opioid abatement class action, a multi-billion dollar lawsuit targeting over 40 opioid companies for negligent conduct in their marketing and distribution of opioids.
  • Despite the grim situation, the community continues its efforts to fight the opioid crisis with increased investment in supportive services and community unity, prompting the provincial and federal governments to provide more resource assistance.


The opioid crisis continues to wreak havoc across North America, sparing no community. From urban centres like Calgary to indigenous communities like the Piikani Nation, the data reveals a public health crisis of grave proportions. The community’s state of emergency declaration and its participation in the Canadian opioid abatement class action illuminate the urgent need for responsive action and support at both local and national levels.

In conclusion, the Piikani Nation’s plight underlines the pervasive reach and deadly impact of the opioid crisis. The Calgary opioid crisis reflects an international public health emergency that affects the vulnerable disproportionately. This ongoing crisis demonstrates the urgent need for strategic interventions, community-level support, and resource investment to mitigate the impact and prevent further opioid-related harms.


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