New textbook explores indigenous perspectives on health

Determinants-of-indigenous-peoples-health_CVR-CopySeptember 18, 2015 – A new textbook, co-edited by an associate professor in the Faculty of Medicine, explores the health of Canada’s indigenous peoples, going beyond established social health determinants, such as income and education, to tackle colonization and colonialism, environment, geography and culture.

Determinants of Indigenous Peoples’ Health in Canada: Beyond the Social, published this summer by Canadian Scholars’ Press, features scholarly papers by aboriginal health research experts, and reflective essays by indigenous leaders.

“What makes this book special is that it is has been written by indigenous people about indigenous people and their viewpoints on health,” explained co-editor Sarah de Leeuw, an Associate Professor in the Northern Medical Program and the School of Population and Public Health. “It also provides an artistic lens on health issues rarely seen in academic medical text. The book includes creative voice in the form of poems, stories and other art that provide a unique and serious reflection on health status.”

Sarah de Leeuw, Associate Professor, Northern Medical Program and School of Population and Public Health

Sarah de Leeuw, Associate Professor in the Northern Medical Program and the School of Population and Public Health

Dr. de Leeuw’s research explores the impact of medical programs in northern B.C. and rural areas, especially with regard to doctor-patient relationships with Aboriginal peoples.

Determinants of Indigenous Peoples’ Health in Canada: Beyond the Social was co-edited with Margo Greenwood, a professor of education and First Nations Studies at UNBC and vice-president of Aboriginal Health at the Northern Health Authority; Charlotte Reading, a professor at the University of Victoria and Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Health Research; and Nicole Lindsay, a doctoral candidate at Simon Fraser University and former research associate at the National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health.

“Where prior publications have included one or two chapters, this book is fully focused on the indigenous health experience,” Greenwood says. “It fills a huge gap of information in the Canadian health education landscape, offering students a greatly expanded opportunity to critically think about indigenous patient care and hopefully apply this knowledge to their future practice.”

“This collection of material shares a wealth of Indigenous experience that has traditionally only existed as oral knowledge in our communities,” she added. “These are stories that document resilience, strength, and solutions from a health context, offering a richness of information far beyond what we would ordinarily see in discussions centred only on the basic social determinants of health.”

All royalties from sales of the book will go to the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada.

Reprinted with permission.

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