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SPPH 536 - Aboriginal People and Public Health: Ethics, Policy, and Practice

SPPH536 aims to provide students with a comprehensive overview of important public health matters involving Aboriginal people. The reading list is therefore intensive. In order to ease the burden of the reading lists and to facilitate collaboration and dialogue between learners, each week students will be assigned articles in the course pack or chapters from the course texts (or a combination of each). The assigned readings for the entire semester will be made available at the start of the course. Students are expected to read, summarize and (if appropriate) compare the articles/chapters in a reading summary that does not exceed one page. Reports may be written in bullet point form, but keep in mind that your fellow learners require adequate notes to complete the activities. Students will then post summaries online for other students’ access by no later than the Sunday evening prior to the class on Tuesday morning. The quality of your reading summaries, your engagement with the lecturer and your contributions to class discussions comprise a significant portion of your final grade.

Readings and Resources

Jan 2012

Week One

There are no assigned readings this week.

Week Two

Mandatory course pack readings:

  1. Chansonneuve D. Reclaiming Connections: Understanding Residential School Trauma Among Aboriginal People. Ottawa, Ontario: Aboriginal Healing Foundation; 2005. Sections I-III, pages 11-63.
  2. Whitbeck, L. B., Adams, G. W., Hoyt, D. R., & Chen, X. (2004). Conceptualizing and measuring historical Trauma among American Indian people. American Journal of Community Psychology, 33(3/4), 119–130.
  3. Chansonneuve D. Addictive Behaviours and Residential School Abuse. In Addictive Behaviours Among Aboriginal People in Canada, Aboriginal Healing Foundation in Canada, Ottawa, pp. 19-28.
  4. Mitchel, T., Maracle D. (2005). Healing the generations: Post-traumatic stress and the health status of Aboriginal populations in Canada. Journal of Aboriginal Health, 2(1), 14-24.
  5. Evans-Campbell, T. (2008). Historical trauma in American Indian/ Native Alaskan Communities: A multilevel framework for exploring impacts on individuals, families and communities. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 23 (316-338).

Mandatory course texts readings:

  1. Milloy, J.S. A National Crime - Chapters 1-6
    1. Chapter 1: The Tuition of Thomas Moore; pp. 3-9
    2. Chapter 2: The Imperial Heritage, 1830-1879; pp. 11-22
    3. Chapter 3: The Founding Vision of Residential School Education, 1879-1920; pp.23-47
    4. Chapter 4: “A National Crime”: Building and Managing the System, 1879-1946; pp. 51-75
    5. Chapter 5: “The Charge of Manslaughter”: Disease and Death, 1879-1946; pp. 77-107
    6. Chapter 6: “We Are Going to Tell You How We Are Treated”: Food and Clothing, 1879 to 1946; pp. 109-128.
  2. Kelm, M. Colonizing BodiesIntroduction, Chapter 1
    1. Introduction; pp. ix-xxiii
    2. Chapter 1: The Impact of Colonization on Aboriginal Health in British Columbia: Overview; pp. 3-18

Week Three

Course pack readings:

  1. Adelson N. (2005). The embodiment of inequity: health disparities in Aboriginal Canada. Canadian Journal of Public Health;96(S2):s45-60.
  2. Estey, E., Kmetic, A.M., Reading, J. (2007). Innovative approaches in public health research: Applying life course epidemiology to Aboriginal health research. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 98(6): 444-446.
  3. Smylie, J., Anderson, M. (2006). Understanding the health of Indigenous peoples in Canada: key methodological and conceptual challenges. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 176(6):602-605.
  4. Assembly of First Nations. (2006). First Nations Public Health: A Framework for Improving the Health of Our People and Our Communities. Chapter 1: Introduction, pp. 3-12; Chapter 2: Health Determinants, pp.13-20; Chapter 3: Jurisdiction and Organization, pp. 21-45; Chapter 4: Surveillance, pp. 47-63; Chapter 5: Health Promotion, Protection and Disease Prevention, pp. 65-84.

Course texts readings:

  1. Waldram et al. Aboriginal Health in CanadaChapters 1-2, 4, 8
    1. Chapter 1: An Overview of the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada; pp. 3-23
    2. Chapter 2: Health and Disease Prior to European Contact; pp. 24-47
    3. Chapter 4: Aboriginal Peoples and the Health Transition; pp. 73-125
    4. Chapter 8: The organization and utilization of contemporary health services; 210-235.
  2. Kelm, M. Colonizing Bodies - Chapters 6-8
    1. Chapter 6: Acts of Humanity: Indian Health Services; pp.100-128.
    2. Chapter 7: Doctors, Hospitals, and Field Matrons: On the Ground with Indian Health Services; pp.129-152.
    3. Chapter 8: Medical Pluralism in Aboriginal Communities; pp. 153-72.

Week Four

Course pack readings:

  1. Christian, W.M., Spittal, P.M., (2009). The Cedar Project: Acknowledging the Pain of our Children, The Lancet; 372(9644): 1132-1133.
  2. O’Neil, J. (1986). The politics of health in the Fourth World: a Northern Canadian example. Human Organization, 45, 119-128.
  3. Indian Act. R.S., c. I-6, s. 1. Published by the Minister of Justice. Available online: HYPERLINK ""
  4. Waters, S. (no date). British Columbia’s Public Health Act from a First Nations’ Perspective: Discussion Paper, (35p).
  5. Boyer, Y. (2004). First Nations, Metis and Inuit Health Care: The Crown’s Fiduciary Obligation. National Aboriginal Health Organization Discussion Paper Series in Aboriginal Health: Legal Issues. Native Law Centre, Saskatchewan. Available online:

Course texts readings:

  1. Milloy, J.; A National CrimeChapters 7, 9
    1. Chapter 7: The Parenting Presumption: Neglect and Abuse; pp. 129-156
    2. Chapter 9: Integration for Closure, 1946-1986; 189-209
    3. Chapter 10: Persistence: The Struggle for Closure; pp. 211-238
  2. Kelm, M.; Colonizing BodiesChapter 4
    1. Chapter 4: A ‘Scandalous Procession’: Residential Schooling and the Reformation of Aboriginal bodies; pp. 57-80.
  3. Fournier & Crey; Stolen from Our EmbraceChapters 1-3
    1. Chapter 1: The Perpetual Stranger: Four Generations in My Sto:lo Family; pp. 19-46.
    2. Chapter 2: “Killing the Indian in the Child”, Four Centuries of Church-Run Schools; pp.47-80.
    3. Chapter 3: Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing: The Child Welfare System; pp. 81-114.

Week Five

Course pack readings:

  1. First Nations Centre. (2007). OCAP: Ownership, Control, Access and Possession. Sanctioned by the First Nations Information Governance Committee, Assembly of First Nations. Ottawa: National Aboriginal Health Organization.
  2. Schnarch, B. (2004). Ownership, control, access, and possession (OCAP) or self-determination applied to research: A critical analysis of contemporary First Nations research and some options for First Nations communities. Journal of Aboriginal Health, 1(1), 80-95.
  3. Walters, K.L., et al. (2009). “Indigenist” Research Efforts in Native American Communities. In The Field Research Survival Guide, Arlene Rubin Stiffman, Ed. Oxford University Press: New York, pp.146-73.
  4. Paradies, Y.C. (2006). Defining, Conceptualizing and Characterizing Racism in Health Research. Critical Public Health; June 2006; 16(2): 143-157.
  5. Brant Castellano, M. (2004). Ethics of Aboriginal Research. Journal of Aboriginal Health, January; 98-114.
  6. Armstrong, T. (2000). Celebrating Community Knowledge: Encouraging Involvement, Achieving Ownership and Building Confidence Through Comprehensive Community Consultation. Native Social Work Journal, 3, 99-106.
  7. CIHR (2010). Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans; Chapter 9: Research Involving the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples of Canada ( HYPERLINK "" )

Course texts readings:

  1. Fournier & Crey; Stolen from Our EmbraceChapters 4
    1. Chapter 4: “Infinite Comfort and Time”, Healing Survivors of Sexual Abuse; pp.115-142.
  2. Smith, L. T. (1999). Decolonizing methodologies. Research and Indigenous peoples. London: Zed Books. Chapters 2-4.
    1. Chapter 2: Research Through Imperial Eyes, pp. 42-57;
    2. Chapter 3: Colonizing Knowledges, pp. 58-77.
    3. Chapter 4: Research Adventures on Indigenous Lands; pp. 83-94.

Week Six

Course pack readings:

  1. Spittal PM, Craib KJP, Teegee M, Baylis C, Christian WM, Moniruzzaman A, et al. The Cedar Project: Prevalence and Correlates of HIV Infection among Young Aboriginal People who use Drugs in Two Canadian Cities. International Journal of Circumpolar Health. 2007;66(3):225-40.
  2. For the Cedar Project Partnership, ME Pearce, WM Christian, K. Patterson, PM Spittal The Cedar Project: Historical trauma, Sexual abuse and HIV risk among Aboriginal young people who use injection and non injection drugs in two Canadian cities. Social Science & Medicine. 66 (2008), 2185-2194.
  3. Duran, B. & Walters, K. (2004). HIV/AIDS Prevention in Indian country: Current Practice, Indigenist Etiology Models and post-colonial approaches to change. AIDS Education and Prevention 16 (3), 187-201.
  4. Craib KJ, Spittal PM, Wood E, Laliberte N, Hogg RS, Li K, et al. (2003). Risk factors for elevated HIV incidence among Aboriginal injection drug users in Vancouver. Canadian Medical Association journal, 168(1):19-24.
  5. Barlow K. Examining HIV/AIDS among the Aboriginal population in Canada in the post-residential school era. Aboriginal Healing Foundation, Ottawa; 2003.
  6. Mill, J.E. (2000). Describing an Explanatory Model of HIV Illness among Aboriginal Women. Holistic Nursing Practice, 42-56.
  7. Orchard, T.R., Druyts, E., McInnes, C.W. et al. (2010). Factors behind HIV testing practices among Canadian Aboriginal peoples living off-reserve. AIDS Care, 22(3); 324-331. Available at:
  8. Craib, KJP, Spittal, PM, Patel, SH, Christian, WM, Moniruzzaman, A, Pearce, M, Demarais, L & Schechter MT. The Cedar Project: Prevalence of Hepatitis C virus infection and related vulnerabilities among young Aboriginal people who use drugs in tow Canadian cities. Open Medicine, 3(4): 220-227

Course texts readings:

  1. Fournier & Crey; Stolen from Our EmbraceChapter 5
    1. Chapter 5: “I am Responsible, I am Accountable”, Healing Aboriginal Sex Offenders; pp.143-172.

Week Seven

Reading Week

Week Eight

Course pack readings:

  1. Johnson, J.A., Vermeulen, S.U., Toth, M.L. et al. (2009). Increasing Incidence and Prevalence of Diabetes among the Status Aboriginal Population in Urban and Rural Alberta, 1995-2006. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 100(3): 231-236.
  2. Willows, N.D. (2005). Determinants of Healthy Eating in Aboriginal Peoples in Canada. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 96 Suppl 3:S32-6, S36-41.
  3. Martens, P.J. et al. (2007). Diabetes and Adverse Outcomes in a First Nations Population: Associations with Healthcare Access, and Socioeconomic and Geographic Factors. Canadian Journal of Diabetes, 31(3); 223-232.
  4. Willows, N. (2005). Overweight in First Nations Children: Prevalence, Implications, and Solutions. Journal of Aboriginal Health, March, 2005: 76-86.
  5. Downs, S.M., et al. (2009). Associations among the food environment, diet quality and weight status in Cree children in Quebec. Public Health Nutrition, 12(9): 1504-1511.
  6. Spurr, S. (2007). The Politics of Policy Development to End Obesity for Aboriginal Youth in the Educational Environment, First Peoples Child & Family Review, 3(3); 72-83. Available at: HYPERLINK ""
  7. Johnson, J., Vermeulen, S. et al. (2009). Increasing incidence and prevalence of diabetes among the Status Aboriginal population in urban and rural Alberta, 1995-2006. Canadian Public Health Association Journal, 100(3); 231-36.
  8. Egeland, G., Pacey, A., Cao, Z., & Sobel, I. (2010). Food insecurity among Inuit preschoolers: Nunavut Inuit Child Health Survey, 2007–2008. CMAJ, 182(3): 243-248.
  9. Chan H., Fediuk K., Hamilton S., Rostas L., Caughey A., Kuhnlein H., Egeland G, & Loring E. (2006). Food security in Nunavut, Canada: Barriers and recommendations. International Journal of Circumpolar Health, 65(5): 417-431.
  10. Samson, C., & Pretty, J. (2006). Environmental and health benefits of hunting lifestvles and diets for the Innu of Labrador. Food Policy.

Course texts readings:

  1. Kelm, M. Colonizing BodiesChapter 2
    1. Chapter 2: ‘My People Are Sick. My Young Men Are Angry’: The Impact of Colonization on Aboriginal Diet and Nutrition; pp. 19-37.
  2. Milloy, J.S. A National CrimeChapter 12
    1. Chapter 12: The Failure of Guardianship: Neglect & Abuse, 1946-1986; pp. 259-93.

Week Nine

Poster Presentations

Week Ten

Course pack readings:

  1. Furgal, C. & Seguin, J. (2006). Climate Change, Health, and Vulnerability in Canadian Northern Aboriginal Communities. Environmental Health Perspectives, 114(12): 1964-1970.
  2. Hill, D.M. (2003). Traditional Medicine in Contemporary Contexts: Protecting and Respecting Indigenous Knowledge and Medicine. National Aboriginal Health Organization.
  3. National Aboriginal Health Organization. (2008). An Overview Of Traditional Knowledge And Medicine And Public Health In Canada. Ottawa: Author.
  4. Richmond, C.A.M. & Ross, N.A. (2008). The Determinants of First Nation and Inuit Health: A Critical Population Health Approach. Health & Place, 15: 403-411.
  5. Turner, N.J., Turner, K.L. (2008). “Where Our Women Used to Get the Food”: Cumulative Effects and Loss of Ethnobotanical Knowledge and Practice; Case Study from Coastal British Columbia. Botany, 86: 103-115.
  6. Smye, V., Browne, A.J. (2002). 'Cultural safety' and the analysis of health policy affecting aboriginal people. Nursing Research, 9(3): 42-56.

Course texts readings

  1. Kelm, M. Colonizing BodiesChapters 3, 5
    1. Chapter 3: ‘Running Out of Spaces’: Sanitation and Environment in Aboriginal Habitations; pp. 38-56.
    2. Chapter 5: Aboriginal Conceptions of the Body, Disease, and Medicine; pp. 83-99.
  2. Waldram, J. Aboriginal Health in CanadaChapters 5, 9
    1. Chapter 5: Medical Traditions in Aboriginal Cultures; pp. 126-152.
    2. Chapter 9: Aboriginal Healing in the Contemporary Context; pp. 236-261.

Week Eleven

Course pack readings:

  1. Walters KL, Simoni JM. Reconceptualizing native women's health: an "indigenist" stress-coping model. American Journal of Public Health. 2002 Apr;92(4):520-4.
  2. Simoni JM, Sehgal S, Walters KL. Triangle of risk: urban American Indian women's sexual trauma, injection drug use, and HIV sexual risk behaviors. AIDS and behavior. 2004 Mar;8(1):33-45.
  3. Browne, A.J. & Fiske, J. (2001). First Nation’s Women’s Encounters with Mainstream Health Care Services. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 23(2), 126-147.
  4. Jacobs, B., Williams, A. (2008). Legacy of residential schools: Missing and murdered Aboriginal women. From truth to reconciliation: Transforming the legacy of residential schools, Eds. Castellano, M.B., Archibald, L., DeGagné, M. Aboriginal Healing Foundation. Ottawa: 2008.
  5. Evans-Campbell, T., Lindhorst, T., Huang, B., Walters, K.L. (2006). Interpersonal violence in the lives of urban American Indian and Alaska Native women: implications for health, mental health, and help-seeking. American Journal of Public Health, 9(8); 1416-22.
  6. Browne, A., Varcoe, C., Smye, V. et al. (2009). Cultural Safety and the Challenge of Translating Critically Oriented Knowledge in Practice. Nursing Philosophy, 10(3); 167-79.
  7. Browne, A. J. & Smye, V. A post-colonial analysis of healthcare discourses addressing aboriginal women. Nurse.Res. 9, 28-41 (2002).
  8. Van Wagner V, Osepchook,C., Harney, E., Crosbie, C., Tulugak,M. (2012). Remote midwifery in nunavik, Québec, Canada: outcomes of perinatal care for the inuulitsivik health centre, 2000-2007. Birth, 39(3):230-7.
  9. Walters, K., Beltran, R., Evans-Campbell, T., Simoni, J. (2011). Keeping Our Hearts from Touching the Ground: HIV/AIDS in American Indian and Alaska Native Women. Women’s Health Issues, 21(6): S261-S265.
  10. Proudrier, J., Thomas Mac-Lean, R. (2009). ‘We've fallen into the cracks’: Aboriginal women's experiences with breast cancer through photovoice. Nursing Inquiry, 16(4): 306-317.

Week Twelve

Course pack readings:

  1. Brant Castellano M. Reflections on Identity and Empowerment Recurring Themes in the Discourse on and with Aboriginal Youth. Horizons: Policy Research Initiative. 2008;10(1):7-12.
  2. Corrado R, Cohen I, Watkinson A. The Over -Representation of Aboriginal Youth in Custody Policy Challenges. Horizons: Policy Research Initiative. 2008;10(1):79-82.
  3. Dion-Stout M, Kipling G, Stout R. Aboriginal people, resilience and the residential school legacy. Ottawa: Aboriginal Healing Foundation, 2001.
  4. Adelson, N., Lipinski, A. The Community Youth Initiative Project. In Aboriginal Healing in Canada: Studies in Therapeutic Meaning and Practice. Aboriginal Healing Foundation. Ottawa: 2008, 9-30.
  5. Blackstock, C. & Trocmé, N. Community-Based Child Welfare for Aboriginal Children: Supporting Resilience Through Structural Change. (2005). In Handbook for Working with Children and Youth: Pathways to Resilience Across Cultures and Contexts. Thousand Oaks: Sage Press. Michael Ungar, Ed.; pp. 105-120.
  6. Hutchinson, P.J., Richardson, C.G., Bottorff, J.L. (2009). Emergent cigarette smoking, correlations with depression and interest in cessation among Aboriginal adolescents in British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 99(5): 418-22.
  7. Tousignant, M., (2009). Resilience and Aboriginal Communities in Crisis: Theory and Interventions. Journal of Aboriginal Health, November, 2009; 43-61.
  8. Lavallee, B. & Clearsky, L. From Woundedness to Resilience: A Critical Review from an Aboriginal Perspective. Journal of Aboriginal Health 3, 4-6 (2006).

Course texts readings:

  1. Waldram, J. Aboriginal Health in CanadaChapters 9-11
    1. Chapter 10: Self-Determination and Health Care; pp. 262
  2. Fournier & Crey; Stolen from Our EmbraceChapter 7
    1. Chapter 7: “We Can Heal”, Aboriginal Children Today; pp. 205-236.

Week Thirteen

Course pack readings:

  1. Graham, H., Stamler, L. Contemporary perceptions of health from an Indigenous (Plains Cree) Perspective. Journal of Aboriginal Health, January 2010. (
  2. Martin Hill, D. Traditional medicine and restoration of wellness strategies. Journal of Aboriginal Health, November 2009. (
  3. Wilson, A. Living well: Aboriginal women, cultural identity, and wellness. The Prairie Women’s Health Centre of Excellence, 2004. (
  4. Poonwassie, A. (2001) An Aboriginal worldview of helping: Empowering approaches. Canadian Journal of Counseling, 35:1. (
  5. A path forward: BC First Nations and Aboriginal people’s mental wellness and substance use – 10 year plan. First Nations Health Authority, 2013. (
  6. Kehoe, T. “Island Nations focus on mental wellness”. Spirit, Winter 2013; 20-21. (