Compared to other regions of North America, there have been relatively few paleopathological studies of arctic populations to date, particularly those aimed at elucidating patterns of health and disease prior to contact, and assessing temporal changes in disease patterns. In the present study, four Aleut skeletal samples representing one pre-contact population from Umnak Island in the eastern Aleutian Islands (N=65), and three late pre-contact/early contact period populations from Umnak, Kagamil, and Shiprock Islands (N=227), were examined macroscopically for indicators of health status. The analysis revealed some evidence of declining health in the late pre-contact/early contact period. Statistical comparisons of the earlier and later samples indicated a significantly higher frequency of cribra orbitalia and cranial infection in the later sample compared to the earlier one. Archaeological, epidemiological, and historical data point to several possible explanations for these findings, including the introduction of new pathogens by Europeans.
The session began with three presenters - LouAnn Benson, Walter Porter, and Lisa Dolchok - all of whom are or have been affiliated with the Circle of Healing Program at Southcentral Foundation in Anchorage, Alaska. The Southcentral Foundation is a Native Health Corporation that administers what used to be the Indian Health Service Hospital and Medical Center. In the Circle of Healing Program, the Southcentral Foundation has designed and implemented an approach to health care that allows its patients simultaneously to access Western medicine, traditional Native healing, and other alternative approaches to health care, such as acupuncture. An important figure in this effort is Dr. Robert Morgan, a psychologist who has worked with the program for several years, and who helped suggest presenters for this part of the program. Originally, Bob planned to be present in Quebec City, but family priorities meant a change in plans. Bob's absence had a silver lining, however, because in his stead he sent LouAnn Benson, one of his able colleagues, who talked about the program from the perspective of an insider.
Southcentral Foundation had to overcome several organizational and procedural hurdles when developing their Circle of Healing program. Among these hurdles was finding a way to credential Alaska Native healers so the Foundation could be reimbursed for their services and pay the healers, and so the healers could work in the hospital along with the staff delivering Western and alternative medical treatment. Southcentral Foundation chose to develop a process for certifying Alaska Native healers as tribal doctors. Rita Blumenstein is the first such person to be certified. Lisa Dolchok is the second. An important strength of Lisa’s presentation is that she helps us broaden our understanding of healing from an Alaska Native perspective. So often we equate healing with curing, and while it can have this dimension, Lisa reminds us there is much more to it. She echoes LouAnn Benson’s presentation in asserting that healing can address illness of the spirit or wounds to the soul.
For decades, Bible stories have been a source of both conflict and healing. In earlier days, Christian missionaries often went to considerable lengths to question the accuracy of traditional northern Native stories, especially those with supernatural dimensions, and to discredit traditional Native spiritual leaders, such as medicine men and women, angakoks, and shamans. The missionaries’ efforts often undercut Native culture and sometimes contributed to the intergenerational trauma that creates widespread hurt and pain in northern Native communities today. At the same time, a significant number of northern Native people derive considerable solace and support from their Christian beliefs and church affiliations, and many Christian religious organizations active in the North today no longer oppose traditional Native stories, practices, and values. Many northern Native people recognize that there is great value in both Native stories and the stories found in the Bible, but some still feel a tension in trying to reconcile acceptance of both. In his presentation, Walter Porter provided an interesting perspective on this issue, and his approach has considerable potential for healing.
Intermarriage with natives is a key indicator of immigrant integration. This article studies intermarriage for 138 immigrant groups in Sweden, using longitudinal individual level data. It shows great variation in marriage patterns across immigrant populations, ranging from over 70 percent endogamy in some immigrants groups to below 5 percent in other groups. Although part of this variation is explained by human capital and the structure of the marriage market, cultural factors (values, religion, and language) play an important role as well. Immigrants from culturally more dissimilar countries are less likely to intermarry with natives, and instead more prone to endogamy.
We compare the retirement prospects of immigrant men with their native-born counterparts. Using data from the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics, we estimate a significant gap of 43 percent in private pension income and 30 percent in private pension contributions between immigrants and the native born. The gap in public pension incomes is negligible and reduces the overall pension gap, but only partially. Furthermore, the pension income and contribution gap is significantly larger for more recently arrived immigrant cohorts, consistent with evidence of weaker earnings for this group. We provide age profiles of pension income and contributions and discuss problems in interpreting the results without adjusting for age. Controlling for age and earnings differences, immigrants are still about 11 percent less likely to make contributions to a private pension program, but there is no difference in the contribution rates out of earnings of those who contribute. Recently arrived immigrants are significantly less likely to make contributions to a private pension program and appear to be neglecting private pension contribution opportunities more than earlier immigrants and the native born, which may have adverse implications for Canada's public retirement programs.
During the last part of the nineteenth century, Finnmark province and the northern part of Troms experienced a decline in intergenerational coresidence. This article discusses what impact ethnic affiliation and economic activity had on the living arrangements of the elderly, and what contributed to the change. Logistic regression shows that ethnicity played a role but its effect disappears after controlling for economic activity. Intergenerational coresidence was positively associated with being a married Sámi male with an occupation in farming or combined fishing and farming. As such a person grew older, he was increasingly likely to live separately from an own adult child. This pattern changed toward the end of nineteenth century. By the close of the century, ethnic differences had disappeared, and headship position, irrespective of marital status, was strongly related to coresidence.