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Introduction: Defining colonialism Health & the imperial project 1. Imperialism & Disease Pre-contact health Contact & Infectious Disease 2. Imperial Health ‘Care’ Pluralism to assimilation Aboriginal health jurisdiction Federal Department of Indian Affairs.

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Presentation Transcript
western medicine as an imperial system first nations health
Introduction:

Defining colonialism

Health & the imperial project

1. Imperialism & Disease

Pre-contact health

Contact & Infectious Disease

2. Imperial Health ‘Care’

Pluralism to assimilation

Aboriginal health jurisdiction

Federal Departmentof Indian Affairs

3. Imperial Health Personnel & Institutions

Indian Doctors, Nursing Stations & Field Matrons

Institutions

Cultural loss & imperial health systems

Conclusion

Assessing the impact of colonialism

Western Medicine as an imperial system – First Nations Health
defining colonialism
Defining Colonialism
  • System of economic, political, social & cultural domination of one group of people over another
  • Multi-faceted: land-ownership; governance; cultural & social beliefs
health the imperial project
Contact: 16th century

Empires: late 19th century

Role of Medicine in European global domination

Othering the Aboriginal body

Health & the Imperial Project
pre contact health
Canadian Aboriginal Groups: Arctic, Western Subarctic, Eastern Subarctic, Northeastern Woodlands, Plains, Plateau, Northwest Coast

limited infectious diseases

good diet

Pre-Contact Health
pre contact health1
practical, ritual & spiritual therapeutics

healers = shamans, herbalists, medicine men

health = balance of physical, mental, & spiritual

Pre-Contact Health
slide6

“Sammy said he dreamt about this disease. He was dreaming that some soldiers came over to Nemiah and shot this disease with all kinds of colours through the sky. That is why Sammy William decided to stay at Tsuniah a little longer.”

Tsil”co”tin Narrative, “The Big Flu”

contact infectious disease
Bacteriological invasion

Death stats: 1/3 Fijian population; Maori population shrunk from between 100,000-500,000 to 45,000

Routes of disease transmission

Contact & Infectious Disease
contact infectious disease1
Contact & Infectious Disease
  • Dietary evolution
  • Western diseases
  • Loss of traditional knowledge & healing systems
slide9

For Native communities, the losses inflected during these years were irreplaceable. As cultural knowledge became increasingly concentrated in certain individuals within families, clans, and lineages, the loss of a person meant the disappearance of particular skills, stories, wisdom.

Mary Ellen Kelm, Colonizing Bodies.

contact infectious disease3
1940s Health Stats - Aboriginal versus all Canadians:

7 times likely to die of pneumonia

13 times likely to die of whooping cough

9 times likely to die of influenza

46 times likely to die of measles

Contact & Infectious Disease
pluralism to assimilation
Pluralism to Assimilation
  • Noble Savage
  • Medical Pluralism
  • Indigenous bodies = diseased bodies
pluralism to assimilation1
‘saving’ Aboriginals - social control & assimilation

aboriginal medicine = unscientific, irrational & dangerous

Pluralism to Assimilation
aboriginal health jurisdiction
British North America Act of 1867 - ‘medicine chest’

Federal Department of Indian Affairs est 1880 – Indian & Northern Health Service

separate health system until 1945

Aboriginal Health Jurisdiction
slide15

“I do not believe that an Indian can be treated for any sickness unless he is hospitalized - he cannot be trusted to take medicine intelligently.”Indian Doctor, 1940s

indian institutions
Christian ‘Indian’ hospitals built 19th, early 20th centuries

Dept of Indian Affairs funding

Aboriginal & White hospital use

‘Indian’ Institutions
slide17

“Removed from the influence of the ‘backward’ home environment… boarders would be educationally and morally prepared to elevate their families and communities toward a Canadian ideal.”

Historian Ken Coates

indian institutions1
residential school period: 19th century to 1960s

living conditions

death rates

cultural loss

intergenerational impact

‘Indian’ Institutions
slide19

Mary John1913-2004

Stoney Creek Woman

indian institutions2
Inuit hospital ships from 1930s

1940s-1960s: transportation south to institutions

peak period: 1/6th Inuit people being treated, average hospital stay of 28 months

‘Indian’ Institutions
slide21

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZ-x7D47Oao

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBpM9Y5ibuA

The Necessities of Life