Canada does not have enough aboriginal nurses and aboriginal nursing faculty. Consequently, there is an inadequate number of nurses to meet both on- and off-reserve and community health care staffing needs. In 2002, Health Canada asked the Canadian Association of University Schools of Nursing to facilitate a national task force that would examine aboriginal nursing in Canada. The task force engaged in an extensive literature review, conducted a national survey of nursing programs, and explored recruitment and retention strategies. In 2007, the association prepared an update on the current status. In this article, the authors review the progress made during the intervening five years in the recruitment, retention and education of aboriginal nursing students.
Urbanization among Indigenous peoples is growing globally. This has implications for the assertion of Indigenous rights in urban areas, as rights are largely tied to land bases that generally lie outside of urban areas. Through their impacts on the broader social determinants of health, the links between Indigenous rights and urbanization may be related to health. Focusing on a Canadian example, this study explores relationships between Indigenous rights and urbanization, and the ways in which they are implicated in the health of urban Indigenous peoples living in Toronto, Canada. In-depth interviews focused on conceptions of and access to Aboriginal rights in the city, and perceived links with health, were conduced with 36 Aboriginal people who had moved to Toronto from a rural/reserve area. Participants conceived of Aboriginal rights largely as the rights to specific services/benefits and to respect for Aboriginal cultures/identities. There was a widespread perception among participants that these rights are not respected in Canada, and that this is heightened when living in an urban area. Disrespect for Aboriginal rights was perceived to negatively impact health by way of social determinants of health (e.g., psychosocial health impacts of discrimination experienced in Toronto). The paper discusses the results in the context of policy implications and future areas of research.
Cultural effects on sexuality are pervasive and potentially of great clinical importance, but have not yet received sustained empirical attention. The purpose of this study was to explore the role of acculturation on sexual permissiveness and sexual function, with a particular focus on arousal in Asian women living in Canada. We also compared questionnaire responses between Asian and Euro-Canadian groups in hopes of investigating whether acculturation captured unique information not predicted by ethnic group affiliation. Euro-Canadian (n = 173) and Asian (n = 176) female university students completed a battery of questionnaires in private. Euro-Canadian women had significantly more sexual knowledge and experiences, more liberal attitudes, and higher rates of desire, arousal, sexual receptivity, and sexual pleasure. Anxiety from anticipated sexual activity was significantly higher in Asian women, but the groups did not differ significantly on relationship satisfaction or problems with sexual function. Acculturation to Western culture, as well as maintained affiliation with traditional Asian heritage, were both significantly and independently related to sexual attitudes above and beyond length of residency in Canada, and beyond ethnic group comparisons. Overall, these data suggest that measurement of acculturation may capture information about an individual's unique acculturation pattern that is not evident when focusing solely on ethnic group comparisons or length of residency, and that such findings may be important in facilitating the assessment, classification, and treatment of sexual difficulties in Asian women.
In a phenomenological research study with a purposeful sample, 6 Ojibwa and Cree indigenous women healers from Canada and the United States shared their experience of being a traditional healer. Using stories obtained during open-ended, unstructured interviews, in this article I depict the lives, backgrounds, and traditional healing practices of women who, in the past, have not been afforded an opportunity to dialogue about their healing art and abilities. The methods of these women healers, their arts and their gifts, are different from those of Western conventional medicine because of dissimilar world views related to health and illness. An increased awareness of health care providers related to the ancient art of traditional healing currently practiced in communities by gifted women who provide culturally specific holistic healing and health care is essential.
This paper describes the portrayal of HIV/AIDS in 14 mass print newspapers directed towards the Canadian Aboriginal population and published between 1996 and 2000. Based on qualitative content analysis the research examines both manifest and latent meanings. Manifest results of this study indicate that women and youth are under represented as persons with HIV/AIDS. The latent results note the frequent references to Aboriginal culture, and the political and economic position of Aboriginal Canadians when discussing the disease, the person with the disease, the fear of the disease and the reaction of the community to the person with the disease. Unlike mainstream media where the medical frame is dominant, HIV/AIDS are here contextualized by culture, identity, spirituality and political-economic issues.
Evidence links adequate prenatal care to improved birth outcomes. Research, however, indicates that First Nations women do not attend regularly for prenatal care. In the current study, seven informants, representing three First Nations tribes, were extensively interviewed to examine their beliefs about pregnancy and participation in prenatal care. First Nations women conceptualized pregnancy in a spiritual context and believed it to be a healthy, natural process requiring no intervention. Since they believed they were responsible for "taking care of themselves" during pregnancy, cultural practices that were thought to promote a healthy pregnancy were espoused. First Nations women were reportedly often dissatisfied with health-care providers in prenatal clinics. Their expectations of freely offered explanations and a friendly non-authoritarian approach were often not realized and their beliefs about pregnancy were in conflict with those of health-care providers. Barriers to prenatal care might be reduced by improving communication and providing holistic culture-specific care.
Low-German-speaking (LGS) Mennonites are a conservative religious group that has migrated from Eastern Europe to Canada and then to countries such as Mexico. They are now returning to Canada in large numbers. They adhere to religious principles based upon a literal interpretation of the Bible. This conservative religious group provides opportunities for nurses and midwives to implement culturally competent care.
The purpose of this article is to discuss LGS Mennonite women's childbearing knowledge and beliefs to develop and implement care that considers and includes their conservative religious beliefs.
An exploratory, descriptive study was conducted to generate information through open-ended interviews with 38 LGS Mennonite women about their knowledge, beliefs and practices related to childbearing. Data collection and analysis occurred simultaneously; emerging themes were discussed by the research team to ensure a contextual understanding of the data.
The participants engage in proscribed practices ('turning the baby') and adhere to specific dietary measures (increasing dairy products) during pregnancy to ensure a healthy birth outcome. During the post-partum, extensive support is provided by other Mennonite women to assist the mother and newborn during this important transition.
Building trust and working in a respectful manner with religious groups such as the LGS Mennonites are a cornerstone of culturally competent nursing practice.
Rich descriptions of Anishinaabe medical knowledge and the cultural meanings associated with illness are available in the anthropological literature, especially in the writings of A.I. Hallowell. Most of this work is based on fieldwork carried out prior to 1940 and was often motivated by a desire to reconstruct the pre-contact situation. Since that time, there have been numerous changes affecting health status and health care. This paper examines lay medical knowledge in a contemporary Canadian Anishinaabeg community, with particular attention to change and continuity in the way people explain and respond to the occurrence of illness.