Cree woman victim of fatal overdose in Montreal was the “backbone” of the community – Montreal

Lennon Poucachiche says he is lucky to be alive.

He spent Sunday night in the hospital, after overdosing on what he thought was crack cocaine.

“I just smoked this, I didn’t know what I felt,” he said. “I fell straight away and I was just really, really tired.”

David Conrad-Wabanonik says the experience is unlike anything he’s had before – adding that he learned a big lesson.

Conrad-Wabanonik recently learned that her 42-year-old cousin, Cindy-Marie Wabanonik, died Tuesday, after being in a coma since the weekend.

They were all part of a group of nine people who overdosed on Sunday from what was likely a poisoned supply.

Cindy had previously resided at the Aboriginal women’s shelter.

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Laura Aguiar, coordinator of the Iskweu project at the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal, describes her as the backbone of the community.

It’s a community that she says is grieving and needs help.

“So many resources in Montreal are not geared toward Indigenous people or Indigenous people who use substances,” Aguiar said. “Which means if you can’t get into a shelter or a resource because you’re drunk, you go to the streets. »

Cindy’s death has attracted the attention of different levels of government who say that the drug problem in Quebec must be quickly addressed.

“Many of these drug users were in a shelter. A shelter is a good emergency measure, but it’s not what they need – it’s not what these people need. They need a roof over their heads with health support,” said Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante.

Pierre Parent, who has worked as a worker for three years now, believes that more needs to be done immediately.

What he is witnessing, he says, is nothing short of a public health crisis.

“Lately, people have been moving left to right, left to right,” he said. “And we know that fentanyl and other toxic substances are found in drugs that were or should have been just cocaine and so on.

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“So this is… very, very concerning, real and urgent.”

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