Essay on Discourse on Aboriginal Health Care

7018 Words Jul 25th, 2009 29 Pages

The Discourse of On Reserve Housing
Mary Ratensperger
Athabasca University
Centre of Nursing Science
MNS 620 Culture and Health
Margo deJong Berg

The Discourse of On Reserve Housing

The substance of this paper will be to discuss the discourse regarding the inequalities facing aboriginal peoples living on reserves in the northwestern corner of Ontario. Inequality is not naturally occurring; poverty is not an innate cultural trait that accumulates at the feet of the marginalized (Schick & St.Denis, 2005, p.304). Stephens, Nettleton and Porter stated in the Lancet (2005) “Aboriginal people in Canada suffer enormous inequalities in health and in accessibility to health
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There is increasing evidence indicating an association between mould, particularly toxigenic moulds, and some diseases, notably asthma. These health problems usually improve when families are relocated to more suitable accommodation. Those particularly at risk include atopic, immunocompromised, very young and elderly individuals and those with chronic health conditions. Our experience suggests that substandard housing is a major contributor to poor health in First Nations communities. While working at the nursing station many mothers weekly asks, “could it be the mould that is causing us all to have breathing problems?” Chronic poverty is an inherently political problem (Hickley & Bracking, 2005). The materiality of the poverty problem does not exist independent of the discourses we have constructed to understand it (Yapa, 2002). Most of the discourse found regarding the deplorable housing conditions on the reserve points to the problems of chronic poverty.

Clinical Setting

The twenty-six reserve communities in which I work and will be discussing in this discourse analysis are located in the north-west corner of Ontario. The reserves are located above the Canadian National Railway line; this is an immense tract of isolated land more than half the size of the province. Except for a few scattered Indian communities and a handful of small towns it is a

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