1. Public debate among different groups over a health issue: Vaccinating young girls for HPV
before they are sexually active. Is that promoting sexual activity or is it really at the best interest
of young girls- to prevent cervical cancer.
2. Scientific/scholarly debate concerning a health issue: what is the scientific evidence? These are
controversies are mostly concerned about safety and health. Do cell phones cause brain cancer?
3. Betrayal of public trust leading to sickness- put your faith in certain groups of society (doctors
for example). what factors that lead up to this scandal. Walkerton e.coli scandal
4. A group benefits at the expense of the health of others-Stem cell research. Black market
kidney trading in South Africa.
- When trying to understand a controversy- look at what the motivations, biases, and resources of
the social groups involved. These can be Political, economical or socio-cultural
interests/motivations. What are these groups responsibilities and affiliations. What education,
training and knowledge they have. Also look at differences in individuals- ideological,
professional, educations, religious, political or personal biases.
- Take into account that some people have more power than others that may help them to
pursue others to think or act a certain way. So wealth, money, social connections, credentials,
knowledge, expertise, prestige.
- Medical Doctors: paid by fee for service they provide. They have a respected education. Have
social connections. Biases: are predisposed to what they learn from medical school. Influence of
the pharmaceutical companies- trying to sell as many pharmaceuticals to increase sales.
- Corporations/industries: sell their products, money, globalization (expanding across the globe).
Satisfying wants of the public. Brand name. Consumer loyalty. Power-influence on stock
markets. Ads. Influence over laws and regulations. Lobbylist. Pay scientists for research.
- Government officials/politicians: Giving the people what they want (acting in the
publics/societys interest or not- who are they thinking of when making these decisions, is it 80%
will less influence or the 20% with greater influence). Money. Re-election. Governance
manipulates statistics to better favour them. Public control. Using polls to influence the publics
votes. Ideology. Diabetes among Indigenous people in Canada
The effect of colonialism on the health of Indigenous people in Canada
- Land Cessation: Treaties and reserves:
o 1763 English created Royal Proclamation: When the Europeans gained control of this
land and had the authority to decide which land can be legally alienated from
o There was so sense of ownership
o Unfair or illegal
o Treaties: The english would document all the things that were offered to the first
nations in exchange for their land. These treaties were very vague and unfair as they
were not aware of what was being signed by them. They were kicked off their own land
once settlers arrived and were forced to pick up agriculture and were not allowed to fish
o Reserves: Owned by the federal government. They got rid of the colonial authorities and
they set place an elected system. A lot of people were prohibited to leaving these
reserves and if they did, they were not able to return to their reserves and were not
considered First Nations anymore. Because they were so isolated with limited resources,
this created poverty and underdevelopment.
- Indian Act (1876):
o It is a law that comes into practice- a separate constitution governing all Indians in
o The federal government claims the right to determine who is indigenous and who is not.
Native People lose the ability to determine who has Indian status.
o It was decided in the this Act that Indians lose their status if they pursued higher
education, or if they were away to war- once they return they were not allowed to enter
o All Indians as wards of the govt govt assumes control over them.
o They were not allowed to drink alcohol, if caught, would goto jail.
o Their lands begin to shrink is size because they constantly had to sell parts of it for
o Lawyers were not allowed to represent natives who tried to fight for their land or else
they would lose their license to practice law.
- Residential schools:
o First nations children ages 7-18 were required to attend Residential schools- parents
obligated to surrender legal guardianship to schools
o Purpose was to get rid of the Indian Problem. Only teach European ways in schools so
children would forget their roots/values. Separate the children from their families. Were
not allowed to speak their native language, only English and French otherwise they
would be punished. Were given very little education, molded the children to think
European ways. o Schools were under funded- minimal food. Firing potatoes were not cooked properly so
a lot got poison. A lot of unhealthy eating and malnutrition.
o Development of Tuberculosis, increased mortality rate. Some were mentally/sexually
o Military experimentation- if a girl got pregnant with a non-native persons baby- forced
- The Sixties Scoop: Children Aids Society: Children taken away from families and were set up for
adoption to white families. Did not understand how indigenous raised their children. It was an
issue of different standards. Foster parents neglected their adopted children and abused them,
setting them apart from the rest of the family.
- Embodiment of Inequality: Colonialism and residential schooling affected the health of these
people. Experienced more substance abuse, poverty, depression, low self- esteem and suicide.
Poverty and certain kinds of abuse were common. Diabetes- caused by many factors, diet,
stress, poverty, genetic, blood sugar, lifestyle.
- Connection between colonialism and diabetes- residential schools- no proper nutrition
provided-processed foods, canned goods, foods that are cheaper- high in carbs and sugars.
- Expensive to get quality food- limited resources. Can predispose you to have a poor diet.
- Tuberculosis- kids in residential schools- no heating systems or medical systems in these schools.
They foster tuberculosis- even today even though residential schools are no longer.
- Stress, discrimination, poverty= all of these issues.
First Nations colonialism is an important case for how poverty, racism and sexism can intersect to create
social disadvantages that seriously undermines health. As a health controversy, First Nations
colonialism could be considered either a betrayal of trust or a case where one group benefits at the
expense of another. First Nations people are today actively engaged in healing by focusing on their
communities and larger political economic and socio-cultural inequalities affecting health. More work
must be done before First Nations communities will approach the health status of the rest of Canada.
1. Making the indigenous people- first natives, sign over their treaties to the English- believing that the
English simply wanted to share the land instead of taking over it. This was an oral agreement. Treaties
were given through oral agreement and then were signed by the Indigenous people. To the Europeans,
they considered written documents as legal, to indigenous people, the oral agreement was enough.
Sending their children to these residential schools thinking they would get a better education and learn
to survive in a European world- allowing them to keep their first nation traditions. Instead they received
little education and hardly any food- and were taught to be European to leave their first nation
roots/culture. Federal government becomes legal guardians over first nation children in residential
schools- neglecting them- less food, higher risk for diseases (tuberculosis)
2. Over land issues, rights, when the Europeans came to North America- they took a lot of the available
resources to their country to profit from them. Taking land away from aboriginal people- Federal
government gained these advantages. Native people were given a certain amount of land, but they had
to sell pieces of it in order to provide for their families. European government gained more land over the
expense of the indigenous losing their land. Foster parents that adopted the first nation children benefited because they received government funding for fostering the children, yet they were
neglecting them and not providing for them as much as they providing for their own.
Indigenous People and Diabetes
- Indigenous people in Canada develop T2D much earlier (20s-30ss) than non-Indigenous people.
- First nations women are more likely to get diabetes than First Nations men.
o Thrifty Gene Hypothesis by James V. Neel: Indigenous genotype adapted to chronic
food shortages. Indigenous found to have T2D- too much insulin production, storage of