Racism In Health

1220 Words 5 Pages
Introduction
The Indigenous people of Canada have been misrepresented in the media since the 20th Century. In core-relation to this misrepresentation, racism is a social determinant of health for Indigenous peoples. Stereotypes in the media continue to affect the health and well-being of Indigenous peoples by “impacting access to education, housing, food, security, and employment,” as well as “permeating societal systems and institutions.” (Allan & Smylie 2) As a result, Indigenous peoples are not given equal healthcare treatment in comparison to non-Indigenous Canadians. This briefing report will identify health issues currently on the Sandy Lake reserve and give a brief history surrounding Indigenous peoples. It will outline why current healthcare
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Residential schools were government sponsored initiatives established in the early 1900’s as an attempt to convert, educate, and integrate Indigenous children into Euro-Canadian culture. If anything, residential schools were an act of cultural assimilation while committing cultural genocide. Several of the problems at residential schools include- language loss, lack of food due to lack of funding from the Federal government, and extremely high death rates (Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada).
Following the residential school system, was the “sixties scoop”, the wide-scale movement of Aboriginal children into non-Aboriginal homes (Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada). Residential schools had “harmed the subsequent ability of the students to be caring parents.” (Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada 138) Consequently from this, steps were not taken to preserve the culture and identity of many Indigenous groups; and another act of cultural assimilation and cultural genocide had
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Critical next steps for healthcare systems should be to “reframe the conversation around race and health in Canada by acknowledging the foundational and ongoing realities of racism and colonialism.” (Allan & Smylie 3) The barrier in adequate healthcare for Indigenous peoples is not due to the lack of funding. It is due to the deeply rooted racism against Indigenous peoples. It is clear that these communities need extra funding to support their healthcare systems because of the racism that they endure. The media’s role in all of this is to set the conversation to put an end to the harmful stereotypes and discrimination. With proper journalism reporting the racism that exists can be lessened in an attempt to lessen the impact that racism plays as a determinant of health.
How to Get It Right
How one reports on topics such as Indigenous peoples should be done with caution and sensitivity. While keeping the main point of this report – relationship between racism and healthcare and journalism’s role in setting the agenda – here are several concrete tips on how to get it

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