In the mid-20th century, Alaska Native people experienced the highest incidence of tuberculosis of any population group, ever. The crude mortality rate from tuberculosis in the Kotzebue area in the mid-1950s was three times the crude mortality rate from all causes today.
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.