Research Paper: Status of Canadian Aboriginals

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¶ … Nations People (indian Act)

Indian act

Inuit people (Indian Act)

The Aboriginal peoples of Canada history span far beyond colonialism. This population consists of indigenous people who settled long ago in present-Canada. The aboriginal people of Canada consist of Inuit, Metis and First nations. These people still hold on to some of their traditional practices. Their civilization has shaped Canada as it is today. Their civilization symbols included cultural artifacts, permanent structures, and different ceremonies. However as the years progressed, it became evident that Europeans had to move in to their lands. This interaction led to the integration of communities. However, one unique feature of the Inuit group of Canada is that they were not colonized. Some argue that this was the case since Europeans saw no benefit of conquering the Amerindian group of the aboriginal community.

The Inuit group had limited interactions with European settlers. The community resided far from colonial powers. As years progressed, various treaties and regulation had to be created. It was only after the aboriginal people had the mandate to govern that they started making laws. This opportunity of self-rule meant that the population had a chance to manage their healthcare, education, economy and other sectors. The Inuit community is descendants of the Thule culture. They arrived in Canada in the 13th century, and they had no contact with the Europeans for a century (Lepage, 2009: 22-24). When the French arrived in their lands, they had wished to conquer them.

This was not to be, since the Inuit as well as the Amerindian did not agree to their policies. Therefore, their relations with Europeans especially French was based on commerce. They traded with fur and this led to the development of many treaties and laws with France. In places where French governed, there were laws. In retrospect, these laws did not apply to the Amerindians and Inuit. Some scholars argue that the Aboriginal people of Canada were primitive and that is why they welcomed other nations in their territories. However, what they forget to analyze is that the French colony needed them to survive British attacks (Lepage, 2009: 28). The Aboriginal people had their own traditional rights their sports and other traditional ceremonies. They took part in the war with France to destroy English Invaders. However, they lost to England. After England's victory over French in Northern America, King George produced a document "Royal Proclamation of 1763."

This proclamation meant that the country had a new colonial master. During the time, the federal government set up special rights for the First nation. This meant that the first nations had exclusive rights to lands and other facilitates. Other communities like the Inuit had little benefits. The formation of such legislations was to offer protection to some tribes. However, the introduction of the Indian Act transformed the protection of First nations into minors (Lepage, 2009: 30). Their protection was now subject to guardianship from the federal government. Colonial rule had its challenges on the people of Canada. Other challenges relates to education, health, security and other issues. In respect to healthcare, the Inuit community faces challenges of diverse strength than other groups.

Health care of the Aboriginal people of Canada (Inuit)

What are Inuit's healthcare needs?

In the past, the Aboriginal community used traditional medicine in treating various ailments. However, with a change in civilization, the Aboriginal people need a better healthcare system. This healthcare system need to benefit the Inuit who constitute 5% of the nation population. There have been considerable improvements on the healthcare of the Aboriginal people since the 20th century. However, the system still faces challenges from infant mortality rates, tuberculosis, and other diseases. Moreover, there has been a decline in the incidences of other infectious diseases, but an increase in injuries and diabetes (Young2003: 2). This, therefore, means that the Aboriginal people need a functional healthcare system. The healthcare system need to cater for the needs of all individuals. A study on the healthcare needs of the Inuit people wishes to explore the health determinants.

The study also concentrates on various risk factors of the population. From these studies, it is evident that there is a high prevalence rate of smoking among the Aboriginal people. There are an increased number of chronic diseases like diabetes. This development relates to a change in lifestyles of the Inuit people. In ancient period, the Aboriginal population engaged in physical activities more than now. There have been an increased number of injuries on the Inuit people. This is due to a multiplicity of factors in the current environments (Young 2003: 3). The invention of motor vehicles indeed came with an increase in injuries.

For Inuit people, civilization brought with it machinery that has had various physical injuries. It is prudent to state that there has been an increase of patients with psychological problems. This phenomenon has had a strain on the medical field of the country. This has led to the establishment of a healthcare institute specifically for the aboriginal people. The government has also developed a plan to ensure that all regions have adequate medical infrastructure (Young2003: 3). Because of population increase, there are fewer centers to cater for all individuals. Therefore, the federal government needs to consider further developments on the sector.

Does population growth rate of Inuit have an impact on healthcare?

Information from the Canadian National Household survey of 2011 indicates that there are more than one million people of Aboriginal identity. The Inuit group takes five percent of this number (Young 2003: 2). This represents an increase in the population as compared to the year 2006. Such an increase in population has an impact on the provision of healthcare services. Inuit population, according to this data, is over 50, 000. This portion represents approximately 0.2% of the total population of Canada. The group inhabit the four regions; the Nunangat region (Statistics, 2011; 4). Growth in population refers to an increase in the number of people of various age groups. With respect to this data, the aboriginal population has increased in terms of children of less than 14 years.

This category of individuals represents seven percent of the entire population of children in Canada. Youths aged 15 to 24 years represent approximately over five percent of the entire population of youths. Emphasis on senior members of the Aboriginal population reveals that they represent 6% of the entire Aboriginal population. With such increments in population, the same reflects on health issues. More and more aboriginal populations need healthcare facilities. The Inuit group of the Aboriginal people lives majorly in their homeland. Findings from the National Household survey of Canada shows that three quarters of Inuit tribe members live in the Nunangat region (Statistics, 2011; 8-14). The group represents Aboriginals people's youngest population. For a fact, their region has the largest land mass meaning health centers are far apart. Increase in population may eventually have an impact on delivery of healthcare in the region.

Does income Gap between Inuit and the Rest of Canada influence Their Health care?

In relation to income, the Aboriginal population of Canada is the poorest. There are significant income gaps between populations of Canada. The Inuit group of people though small in size experience high unemployment rates. The population also has a low education rates due to different factors. Persons with low-income rates may not enjoy better healthcare services. Low-income levels on the Aboriginal people of Canada have led to an increase in substance abuse, stress, social ills, poor dieting, and hygiene (Wilson & Macdonald, 2010: 7-12). These changes have had an impact on the healthcare system of the country. It is evident that substance abuse and social issues have an influence on disease rates; substance abusers tend to lose their consciousness on health. These pressures have also increased the number of persons suffering from mental health.

According to Wilson & Macdonald (2010: 7-12), Metis does better than First Nations or Inuit in terms of income levels. Income levels have an effect on the population and other aspects. From National Household survey data, it is evident that members of Metis tribe have doubled their population. This means that the population enjoys better healthcare services and affords education. However, for Inuit, Low-income rates and unemployment rates have led to homelessness in Canadian cities (Hwang, 2001: 4). This has had a negative health implication on the people of such cities. In Canada, homelessness has led to high levels of mortality and mobility. Homeless families have significant barriers in accessing healthcare since they cannot afford such services.

City lifestyle has led to the migration of Inuit youth to cities. Many young citizens move to this cities with the perception of a better life. However, contrary to their beliefs, they end up on the streets. Another fraction of street families represents individuals running from family issues. Homelessness has increased the rate of chronic respiratory infections, substance and alcohol abuse. These events have led to an increase in H.I.V infections, tuberculosis, and… [END OF PREVIEW]

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