Shah's Public Health and Preventive Health Care in Canada, 6e - Chapter 7 - Indigenous Health

Bonnier Fournier, Fareen Karachiwalla (authors), Dr. Chandrakant Shah (consultant)

The area of Indigenous health is one of great complexity. It is vital that trainees and practitioners in various health disciplines have a solid understanding of Indigenous health matters. This chapter attempts to educate about and address various nuances related to the area of Indigenous health, but it does not represent a comprehensive or exhaustive exploration of all issues. Its goal is to introduce learners to the topic and present an overview of key areas relating to Indigenous health and their determinants, specifically Indigenous people of Canada. The chapter explains the effects of racism, colonialism, and self-determination on the health of Indigenous people, as well as the impact of decolonization. Moving forward, it describes the health gaps that exist between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians in the areas of morbidity, mortality, self-perceived health, and health care utilization. Challenges are listed in regards to health care provision and access to Indigenous communities, on and off reserve, and strategies are discussed that help the health sector reduce health inequities facing Indigenous people.