The potential exists for human exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other contaminants originating from abandoned Mid-Canada Radar Line (MCRL) sites in sub-arctic Canada. We examined patterns of differences with respect to body burden of organochlorines (lipid-adjusted) between residents of the Ontario First Nations of Fort Albany (the site of MCRL Site 050) and Kashechewan (no radar base) and Hamilton (an industrial, southern Ontario community) to assess whether the presence of Site 050 influenced organochlorine body burden with respect to the people of Fort Albany. PCBs (Aroclor 1260 and summation operator14 PCBs congeners [CBs]) and DDE in the plasma of Fort Albany and Kashechewan subjects were elevated relative to Hamilton participants. PCB and DDE-plasma levels in First Nation women were of comparable magnitude to those reported for Inuit women living in the west/central Northwest Territories. Significantly lower DDE/DDT ratios observed for Fort Albany indicates exposure to higher levels of DDT compared to Kashechewan. The probable source of DDT exposure for Fort Albany people is the DDT-contaminated soil surrounding buildings of Site 050. The results of the correspondence analysis (CA) indicated that people from Hamilton had relatively higher pesticides and lower CB body burdens, while people from Fort Albany and Kashechewan exhibited relatively higher CBs and lower pesticide levels (CA-1). The separation of Fort Albany and Kashechewan from Hamilton was also clear using questionnaire data (i.e., plotting dietary principal component [PC]-1 scores against PC-2); PC-1 was correlated with the consumption of a traditional diet. Separation of Kashechewan and Albany residents occurred because the people of Kashechewan ate more traditional meats and consumed shorebirds. Only one significant relationship was found between PC analysis and contaminant loadings; PC-1 versus CA-3 for Kashechewan. The presence of Site 050 on Anderson Island appears to have influenced organochlorine body burden of the people of Fort Albany. ANCOVA results revealed that it was not activity on Anderson Island that was important, but activity on Site 050 was the influential variable. When these results are considered with the DDE/DDT ratio data and the CB 187 results (Fort Albany and Kashechewan residents differed significantly), the findings are suggestive that Site 050 did influence organochlorine body burden of people from Fort Albany.
This article describes a case study examining the effects of participating in a health promotion project, one aspect of which was a health assessment conducted using participatory action research. The study was carried out over 2.5 years in a project for older Aboriginal women (hereafter known as the grandmothers). Participation in the project and health assessment contributed to a number of changes in them, which were categorized as cleansing and healing, connecting with self, acquiring knowledge and skills, connecting within the group, and external exposure and engagement. This experience demonstrated an approach to health promotion programming and conducting a health assessment that was acceptable to this group of people and fostered changes congruent with empowerment.
This ethnographic study explored the question, How do urban-based First Nations peoples use healing traditions to address their health issues? The objectives were to examine how Aboriginal traditions addressed health issues and explore the link between such traditions and holism in nursing practice. Data collection consisted of individual interviews, participant observations, and field notes. Three major categories that emerged from the data analysis were: following a cultural path, gaining balance, and sharing in the circle of life. The global theme of healing holistically included following a cultural path by regaining culture through the use of healing traditions; gaining balance in the four realms of spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical health; and sharing in the circle of life by cultural interactions between Aboriginal peoples and non-Aboriginal health professionals. Implications for practice include incorporating the concepts of balance, holism, and cultural healing into the health care services for diverse Aboriginal peoples.
Symbolic healing is a complex phenomenon that is still relatively poorly understood. This paper documents a process of symbolic healing which is occurring in Canadian penitentiaries, and which involves Aboriginal offenders in cultural awareness and educational programs. The situation is compounded, however, by the existence of offenders from diverse Aboriginal cultural backgrounds with differing degrees of orientation to Aboriginal and Euro-Canadian cultures. Participants must first receive the necessary education to allow them to identify with the healing symbols so that healing may ensue, and both the healers and the patients must engage in a process of redefining their cultures in search of a common cultural base.
To assess the association between the common missense variant, Y64R, in the gene encoding the beta 3-adrenergic receptor, ADRB3, and intermediate phenotypes related to obesity and NIDDM in Canadian Oji-Cree.
We determined genotypes of the ADRB3 Y64R polymorphism in 508 clinically and biochemically well-characterized adult Oji-Cree, of whom 115 had NIDDM. We tested for associations with multivariate analysis of variance.
We found the ADRB3 R64 allele frequency to be 0.40 in this population, which is the highest yet observed in a human population. Furthermore, 15% of subjects were R64/R64 homozygotes, compared with a virtual absence of homozygotes in European study samples. However, we found no statistically significant associations of the ADRB3 Y64R genotype either with the presence of NIDDM, with indexes of obesity, or with intermediate quantitative biochemical traits related to NIDDM.
Despite the very high frequency of the ADRB3 R64 allele in this sample of aboriginal people, it was not associated with any metabolic phenotype. This suggests that the ADRB3 R64 allele is probably not a major determinant of obesity or NIDDM in these aboriginal Canadians.
To present epidemiologic information on adolescent use of prescription drugs to get high, and not for medical purposes, in Canada.
Data were obtained from 44 344 adolescents in grades 7 to 12 living across Canada's 10 provinces who completed the Youth Smoking Survey in 2008/2009.
Nationally, 5.9% of adolescents in grades 7 to 12 reported the use of prescription drugs to get high in the past 12 months in 2008/2009. Females were more likely to report use of pain relievers, sedatives, or tranquilizers to get high, while males were more likely to report the use of prescription stimulants for this purpose. The use of prescription drugs to get high was elevated among older youth, those living in British Columbia, and those who identified as First Nations, M?tis, or Inuit. School connectedness was associated with a reduction in this form of prescription drug misuse for all adolescents; however, this protective effect was particularly strong for Aboriginal youth, and may be an important preventative factor for this population.
Use of prescription drugs to get high was prevalent among adolescents in Canada in 2008/2009. Findings highlight the need for clinicians to include questions about prescription drugs when screening adolescents for substance abuse in Canada. Findings also highlight the need for evidence-informed strategies to reduce prescription drug misuse among Aboriginal youth living outside First Nations communities in Canada. The results of this study suggest school connectedness may be a particularly important target for these interventions.
Comment In: Can J Psychiatry. 2013 May;58(5):30823802248
Comment In: Can J Psychiatry. 2013 May;58(5):30823802247
OBJECTIVE: To determine the total and functional serogroup C antibody response to a quadrivalent meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine in a group of aboriginal infants, children and adolescents. A secondary objective was to determine their prevalence of meningococcal carriage. DESIGN: Open prospective, before and after intervention study. SUBJECTS: Aboriginal children ages 0.5 to 19.9 years, living in a single Northern community and eligible for a public health immunization campaign conducted in all Manitoba native reserve communities to control a meningococcal serogroup C, electrophoretic type (ET) 15 outbreak. No outbreak cases had occurred in the community at the time of the study. METHODS: Total serogroup C capsular polysaccharide antibody (CPA) and functional bactericidal antibody (BA) responses were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and bactericidal assay, respectively. RESULTS: Neisseria meningitidis was recovered from the oropharynx of 13 (5.2%) of 249 aboriginal children including 4 (1.6%) serogroup C isolates, all with the designation C:2a:P1.2,5 ET15. Paired sera from 152 children were available for assay. For CPA the geometric mean concentrations and proportions with > or =2 microg/ml before and after immunization were 0.69, 18% and 12.3, 96%, respectively. A significant increase in serum CPA was achieved by children of all ages, with the greatest response occurring after age 11 years. Among infants or =2 microg/ml. For BA the pre- and post-vaccine geometric mean titers were 1.02 and 45.9. The response was significantly associated with age. BA titers > or =1:8 were present, before and after immunization, respectively, in 0 and 0% of infants or =2-year-olds. CONCLUSION: The age-related total and functional group C meningococcal antibody response after quadrivalent polysaccharide vaccine among aboriginals is similar to that reported for Caucasian children. After age 2 all children made excellent CPA and BA responses. In the younger age groups the BA response was blunted but 82 to 95% achieved CPA titers of > or =2 microg/ml.
A concise portrait of HIV and AIDS within the Aboriginal community is difficult to present. Just as there are different customs and traditions among tribes, so are there different ways by which this issue is being addressed. The response to HIV/AIDS in the Aboriginal community is the process of moving from an individual or personal perspective to an immediate and extended family approach through the community, nation or society, and finally to the greater picture, Mother Earth. We don't necessarily move through in this order, rather we go back and forth as the need arises. When we deal with HIV or AIDS, it is important to view how this will affect our whole life: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of ourselves as well as financial, psychosocial and other dimensions. The teachings and study of children, youth, adults and elders are also discussed. We recognize the work we do in this area now will be a tool for survival in the future.