“We stopped sharing when we became civilized”: A Model of Colonialism as a Determinant of Indigenous Health in Canada

  • Darell Manitowabi Laurentian University
  • Marion Maar Northern Ontario School of Medicine
Keywords: Indigenous, Determinants of health, Colonialism, Canada

Abstract

In the post-World War II era, attention to the poorer health outcomes of Indigenous peoples led to a gradual shift in the discourse surrounding Indigenous-State relations in Canada. By the 1980s, the federal government devolved policies involving First Nations, resulting in First Nations control of the local delivery of federal and provincial government programs and services such as social welfare and capital for improved infrastructure and economic development. We conducted qualitative research examining the perceived impact of increased local control and access to social and economic investments on mino-bimaadiziwin (“good health”) in five Ojibwa/Anishinabe First Nations in northeastern Ontario, Canada. Results suggest these interventions have reduced community solidarity, led to higher unemployment, poorer health and a reliance on materialism, technology, and social programs. There are community divisions between those who have benefited and those who have not. Indigenous communities frame past life ways as a guide to improved mino-bimaadiziwin.

References

Anishinabek Nation. (n.d.). The Anishinabek Nation Economy: Economic Blueprint. Retrieved from http://www.anishinabek.ca/nation-economy-blueprint.asp.

Association of Ontario Health Centres. (n.d.). Aboriginal Health Access Centres. Retrieved from https://www.aohc.org/aboriginal-health-access-centres.

Bernard, H. (2011). Research Methods in Anthropology: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. Toronto: AltaMira Press.

Boyer, Y. (2014). Moving Aboriginal Health Forward: Discarding Canada’s Legal Barriers. Saskatoon: Purich.

Boldt, M. (1993). Surviving as Indians: The Challenge of Self-Government. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Buse, D., & Mount, G. (2011). Come on over!: Northeastern Ontario, A to Z. Sudbury, ON: Scrivener Press.

Czyzewski, K. (2011). Colonialism as a Broader Social Determinant of Health. The International Indigenous Policy Journal 2 (1): Article 5. http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/iipj/vol2/iss1/5.

Greenwood, M., de Leeuw, S., Lindsay, N., & Reading, C. (Eds.). (2015). Determinants of Indigenous Peoples’ Health in Canada: Beyond the Social. Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press.

Jacklin, K. & Warry, W. (2012). Decolonizing First Nations Health. In J. Kulig & A. Williams (Eds.), Health in Rural Canada, (pp. 373-389). Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.

Jacklin, K. & Kinoshameg, P. (2008). Developing a Participatory Aboriginal Health Research Project: "Only if it's going to mean something." Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, 3(2), 53-68.

Madahbee, D. (2015). Everyone benefits when Aboriginal enterprise succeeds. Northern Ontario Business, Aboriginal Business, July, 26.

Maar, M. (2004). Clearing the Path for Community Health Empowerment: Integrating Health Care Services at an Aboriginal Health Access Centre in Rural North Central Ontario. Journal of Aboriginal Health, January, 54-64.

O’Neil, J., Gallagher, J., Wylie, J., Bingham, B., Lavoie, J., Alcock, D. & Johnson, H. (2016). Transforming First Nations’ health governance in British Columbia. International Journal of Health Governance 21(4), 229-244.

Reading, C. (2015). Structural Determinants of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health, In M. Greenwood, S. de Leeuw, N. Lindsay & C. Reading (Eds.), Determinants of Indigenous Peoples’ Health in Canada, (pp. 3-15). Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press.

Reading-Loppie, C., & Wien, F. (2009). Health Inequities and Social Determinants of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health. Prince George, BC: National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health.

Scott-Kelly, K. (2016). Aboriginal peoples: Fact Sheet for Ontario. Retrieved from www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/89-656x/89-656-x/89-656-x2016007-eng.pdf.

Smylie, J. (2009). The Health of Aboriginal Peoples, In D. Raphael (Ed.), Social Determinants of Health: Canadian Perspectives Second Edition (pp. 280-304). Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press Inc.

Surtees, R. (1994). Land Cessions, 1763-1885, In R. Rogers & D. Smith (Eds.) Aboriginal Ontario: Historical Perspectives on the First Nations (pp. 92-121). Toronto: Dundurn Press.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. (2015). Honouring the Truth: Reconciling for the Future. Summary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Retrieved from http://nctr.ca/assets/reports/Final%20Reports/Executive_Summary_English_Web.pdf

Union of Ontario Indians. (2016). Health Overview. Retrieved from http://www.anishinabek.ca/departments/health-secretariat-2/overview/.

Warry, W. (2007). Unfinished Dreams: Community Healing and the Reality of Aboriginal Self-Government. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Section
Articles