LUX: Canadians targeted Aboriginal people by isolating them on reserves and in residential schools when the scare of “Indian tuberculosis” became a threat in the 1930s. Lux characterizes colonists/ the Canadian government as “racially careless” and she eludes to them as viewing the Indigenous people of Canada as “a menace to their neighbors and a danger to the nation.” (407). I think this isolation could have been a possible way for the Canadian government to have hoped parts of the reservations would “die off naturally” in large batches from the tuberculosis scare with no blood on their hands, allowing the bacterial disease to remove the “menaces” from their society, while not infecting any “good” (probably white) members on society. Lux focuses on Western Canada as she states that colonialism, medical and bureaucratic discourse had a huge threat upon this region, as the threat of “Indian tuberculosis” was very harsh in these areas (408-409). Superintendent of Manitoba’s Ninette sanatorium, Dr. David Stewart called it “the racial carelessness and ignorance’ of First Nations ‘soaked with tuberculosis [that] could no longer be left to well-meaning missionaries and apathetic Indian Agents.
MOSBY: A drop within in the fur trade dropped incomes 66% between 1924-1935, and a cutback of Indian Affairs, drawing back unemployment relief lead to malnutrition issues in the 30’s outside residential schools as well (149).
KELM: Birth rates of Aboriginal populations begin to rise, a factor in helping to raise the population numbers after a steady decline from previous years, there was even encouragements to have as many children as possible, some families having up to 20 children (4-5). In 1935, over 80% of victims from tuberculosis in BC Aboriginal communities were under 30 years old, 70% were under 20, killing mostly young people. (10). In 1935, there was 28 violent/accidental deaths from Native populations reported, and by 1939 that number increased to 42 deaths. (17), with death rates due to accidents or violence being 131.7 per 100,000 people for Aboriginals, and 69.6 per 100,000 people in non-Aboriginals in 1943 (16) some caused by fishing accidents etc.
LUX: There is now “state-run racially segregated Indian hospitals institutionalized Aboriginal people who were not welcome in provincial sanatoria or in the modernizing community hospitals.” (407) while Edmonton was the home to the Charles Camsell Indian Hospital in 1946 which demonstrates “one of the first acts of the newly created department of National Health and Welfare” marking publically that the states would be promoting the idea of “national health” by “isolating and institutionalizing Aboriginal people.” (408). From 19945-1985 Charles Camsell Indian Hospital treated First Nations and Inuit people: in its 1st year 69% of admissions were from tuberculosis, in its 3rd year only 38% of admissions were from tuberculosis (431-432).
MOSBY: Indian Affairs officials began making “inquiries regarding the prevalence of malathion in remote aboriginal communities or in residential schools, [as] there had been warnings of widespread hunger in both for decades.” (148-149).
KELM: “in the mid-1940’s, the death rate due to disease…was three times higher among the Aboriginal population than among non-Natives.” (6). In 1942, “the Aboriginal death rate from tuberculosis was fifteen times higher than the rate for the population as a whole.” (9) and only worsened as the Aboriginal rate grew to seventeen times greater than the national even with country wide improvements and expansions regarding sanatorium care for Aboriginal patients (9).
LUX: “Alberta in 1950, warned that Alberta hospitals had “‘…practically ceased to accept a sick Indian except in the most emergent of circumstances, and for the shortest possible time.’” (418) Stated Dr. E.L. Stone as costs of hospital care in the 50’s was soaring and the hospitals were “overcrowded by patients from their own municipalities.” (418).
MOSBY: Regulations were put into place (by Moore) that regulated what kinds of goods families could buy with their Family Allowance (some clothing, and goods with nigh nutritional value) (156). Great in theory until some families weren’t allowed to purchase flour (key staple) causing many Inuit families in Great Whale River (1949-1950) to go hungry then “forced to resort to eating their sled dogs and boiled seal skin.” (157).
LUX: Fines ($) are also discussed in this journal (433) as punishment for sickness/disease, similar to the articles we read last week regarding cleanliness. As the liberal view of individualism and how one succeeds (body and mind) vary greatly from the Indigenous view where “wellness required community support…and where the value of goods was realized by giving them away.” (411) and as their legal status was not based on a rational citizenship, “without fundamental social, cultural, and political change.” (411) by colonial controls. Aboriginals are once again isolates, targeted, and excluded from being a part of a complete and whole Canadian society and was “fundamental to the emerging welfare state” (434).
-I think one of the large overarching ideas from Lux’s writing is her emphasized in her statement “I argue that the Indian hospitals emerge as Canada was consciously defining national health, or a normal while citizenship.” (409) while “the CTA (Canadian Tuberculosis Association) urged, [that] the state must include Aboriginal people in its calculations of national health, if only to keep them properly isolated. State-run Indian hospitals also acknowledged community prejudices that demanded segregated health care, ensuring that modernizing hospitals were increasing white hospitals.” (410). As Indian hospitals may “serve the social imperative to ‘break up Indian customs,’ while reserving community hospitals for white patients.” (417)
MOSBY: The Cross Lake First Nations Group Chief stated that “his band was running out of treaty money and that from May to October, when the muskrat trapping season was over, they were likely to face six months of no earnings and little food.” (150).
-The James Bay Survey from 1947-48 used 6 physicians, a dentist, an x-ray tech, a photographer, and 3 anthropologists to get a look at the coloration of health and nutrition in the North as well as “to elucidate the connection between food nutrition, and the ‘Indian Problem’ more generally.” (154). When investigators came to check the quality of the foods in residential schools, “the tendency of inspectors to see better food service than was typically being provided [to the students], their investigations nonetheless showed overwhelmingly poor conditions in the schools…[and] typically failed to meet the government’s own stated basic nutritional requirements.” (159), estimated by Pett that schools often served only half that of what was needed for a balanced diet (159). “
KELM: Rates of disease and death were higher among Aboriginals than non-Aboriginals in the first half on 20th century. “Some of the most recent studies start with a population as high as 188,344 on the northwest coast at contact and estimate a 90% decline by 1890.” (4) and its presumed that “the first nations lost 65,395 living individuals in the first 150 years after contact, a 74% decline in population.” (4). After birth rated increased in the 1930s, abortion is no longer practiced in some areas (as frequently I presume) due to the introduction of Catholicism, yet maternal, childhood and infant mortality rates were high (families could lose 2 children before they reached adulthood) (6). Limited access to medical care was one reason for high death rates of mothers, newborns, while most post-neonatal deaths were caused by poor conditions on the reserve (7). Other communicable diseases and complications commonly negatively effecting Aboriginals more than non-Aboriginals: bronchopneumonia, pneumonia, whooping cough, influenza, and measles (10-11). Drinking was a way to celebrate a good fishing catch, but spun out of control and became an epidemic in some communities, and drinking became associated as a number of violent deaths over Native communities, damaging many communities. (17).
-Interesting of how white, middle-class, colonial, men in government and medicine are still (as in these readings, as well as currently in society) the ones able to dictate who should get health care, who isn’t clean, what people should eat, all while feeling obligated to implement their Western medicine as given right based off their colonial status. As Mosby states that the most significant part of the studies being done regarding malnutrition were due to bureaucrats, scientists, and other experts “further[ing] their own professional and political interests rather than to address the root cause of these problems…[and] the Canadian government’s compliancy in them.” During the 1940’s and 1950’s (Mosby 171).
-All articles seem to refer to the indigenous communities being a part of some kind or crisis or another.
– As “the full impact of colonization played out upon Aboriginal bodies, through increasing restrictions on access to land and recourses, and through intensifying interventions into their lives.” (Kelm 18)