Work and health challenges of Indigenous people in Canada

Elsevier, The Lancet Global Health, Volume 10, August 2022
Durand-Moreau Q., Lafontaine J., Ward J.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has published 94 calls to action to redress the legacy of residential schools where thousands of Indigenous children have died. The objective of this narrative review is to address some of these calls by summarising the available evidence on work and health issues encountered by Indigenous workers in Canada. We searched seven databases to retrieve studies on Indigenous people, in Canada, and on occupational health as defined by the International Labour Organization. We included 31 studies, from which we found that Indigenous workers are experiencing intersectionality issues: in addition to having differential health issues related to a below-average socioeconomic status, Indigenous workers face discrimination in workplaces that affects their mental health. Indigenous workers might also cumulate occupational and environmental exposures from industries that have settled close to their dwellings (eg, exposure to polychlorobiphenyls). There is a scarcity of studies on major occupational health topics such as occupational cancers or musculoskeletal disorders in Indigenous people.