The Aboriginal Peoples Of Canada Essay

2269 Words Nov 21st, 2016 10 Pages
For centuries the Aboriginal peoples of Canada, comprised of the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit populations, have been the victims of gross inequity relative to immigrants of European descent. After an era of colonialism left them decimated, these ‘Indians’ were then subject to explicit, often violent assimilation endorsed and enforced by the Government of Canada. State and church-run institutions profoundly damaged Aboriginal culture, perverted family and community ties, and resulted in loss of life. This mistreatment also transpired for Aboriginals in poor health. Within the scope of recent memory, tuberculosis (TB) ravaged Aboriginal communities, and the disease continues to be problematic today. In efforts to care for all of its citizens, and to prevent disease spread to other Canadians, the government made the treatment of Aboriginals with TB a priority. However, similar to other state initiatives involving Aboriginals, the care provided served to further distort familial relations and dilute communities’ cultures. In Healing Histories (2013), author Laurie Meijer Drees provides stories from patients and professionals, both Aboriginal and not, who experienced life in Canada’s Indian hospitals, recounting tales of hardship but also of hope. The present reflection will compare the stories of Truus van Royen, a Dutch immigrant and nurse, and Evelyn Voyageur, a Kwakwaka’wakw First Nation nurse and scholar. Given their vastly different backgrounds and social statuses, these…

Related Documents