The Issue of Poor Aboriginal Health in Canada

Last Updated: 20 Apr 2023
Pages: 4 Views: 17

Aboriginal peoples make up number of the population in Canada. They have owned this land for many decades but Canadians took their land away from them. Along with having their children taken away in the sixties scoop, they are still to this day being discriminated against and live in poor conditions. An Aboriginal person's health is really poor when you compare to a non- aboriginal person. There are different social determinants of health that contribute to the poor health they have. One social determinant is their Aboriginal status, another is the income an Aboriginal person makes, and the last one is the Health Services in which Aboriginal peoples receive.

There are other characteristics that subsidize towards this issue but these are some main ones. There are many outcomes because of the poor health care; one main one is suicide. Along with the poor health they receive they have a number of health issues such as mental illness; which adds to suicide and Aboriginal peoples have the highest number of suicides in Canada. The issue of poor Aboriginal Health is caused by one social determinant that is the Aboriginal status. Due to the fact that Aboriginals are who they are it is one aspect that causes them to get poorer health service than non-aboriginal peoples.

Since, “Indigenous People continue to live on bounded or segregated lands and are often at the heart of jurisdictional divides between levels of government, particularly in areas concerning access to financial allocations, programs, and services. (2008, WHO)". Aboriginal people are sent to live in reserves which have horrible living conditions. The living conditions are really bad for their health which causes them to get sick easier. Also, they do not have the accessibility to the health care like non- aboriginal peoples which results in the poor health. There are studies done, "Participants ranged in age from twenty-one to twenty-eight, and only one who has identified as Metis, was born in Canada. (2009, Bell)".

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Surveys are trying to make people identify themselves which causes the child to not have a sense of belonging. This will go beyond to their mental thinking and can cause mental illnesses such as depression etc. These mental illnesses are not treated properly and often cause the child and/or teen to commit suicide. Researches show that "The CCR indicates that a persons without permanent residence status in Canada suffer from systemic discrimination. (2009, Bell)."

The Aboriginal peoples never had a sense of belonging ever since Canadians took over. They had their land taken away, their language, their children and much more. It is hard for them because they all do not have residence papers because they have been hear since time. All these situations causes stress for the Aboriginal peoples. Stress is the main leading cause to many diseases and illnesses. With all these situations happening its social determinant to them not having good health care.

Another social determinant is income. Aboriginal people have a hard time with income, "Also, a key aspect of Aboriginal life and the experience of women in Canada is their greater likelihood of living under conditions of low income (Raphael, 2007e)". They barely make enough for a person to survive. Earning way less than the average non-aboriginal person. With low income you cannot have the money to pay for medical expenses that are not covered by medical insurance. It is said that they do not pay taxes but they do.

Also, “Income potential is the accumulation of abilities, skills and educational experiences in childhood that are important determinants of adult employability and income capacity (Marmot, 2006)". Income is a major part of being healthy. You need to pay taxes for free health care. But the places they live there might not be many good resources near by to health treat sick people.

The last social determinant of health is the health services. Aboriginal people are not as lucky as non-aboriginal people “Capacity development involves 'building up the skills and abilities of Aboriginal people, communities and organizations to carry out, direct and use health research; and the capacity of non-Aboriginal researchers to work collaboratively with Aboriginal organizations and communities ...' (CRCAH 2006)”. This quote comes from a reading saying that they are trying to improve the quality and quantity of health care. Since it is bad they need to fix it so that people can not die from the smallest illnesses.

Also, "In addition to the uneven access to health services and resources created through the NIHB and other race-based policies, experiences and anticipation of racist treatment by health care providers also act as barriers to accessing needed health services for Indigenous peoples (Kurtz et al., 2008; Tang & Browne, 2008; Browne et al, 2011)". There are barriers like racism that prevent them to get good health care. This is a problem to why they receive poor health care. They are mistreated, “Greater health risks are associated with increased violence against Aboriginal girls and women, rooted in colonization (Amnesty International, 2004)". Like the 1960's residential schools certain things do not change. The females are not treated with respect and not getting the right health care.

Finally, due to these three social determinants of health the Aboriginal health care is poorer than the non-aboriginal health care. Some changes have already been put to place. It is slowly happening but Canadians are apologizing for their faults against the Aboriginal peoples. Firstly there needs to be better places for them to live in with livable conditions. They need to be educated so that they can get good and stable jobs. They need to be granted free health care the same as non-aboriginal peoples. They need to be taken seriously if they have a mental illness or a physical illness or disease.

Schools should start teaching students at a young age about the situation that has happened in the past and how it should change now in the present. There should be a fair income for Aboriginal people as the non-aboriginal people. These things are on the agenda for research and policy change. The health care for Aboriginal people needs to improve since Canadians are the ones that took their land and nothing was done to say they are sorry for taking it. Health care should be equal to all human beings.

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The Issue of Poor Aboriginal Health in Canada. (2023, Apr 20). Retrieved from

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