Canada’s National Shame redux

February 4, 2015 § 3 Comments

Yesterday, a new report was released on the plight of Canada’s aboriginal peoples in the healthcare system.  The title, “First Peoples, Second Class Treatment,” perhaps says all you need to know.  The CBC also posted a story on-line about the experiences of several aboriginal people vis-à-vis healthcare in Victoria, British Columbia.  A couple of the “highlights”:

  • Michelle Labrecque went to the Royal Jubilee Hospital complaining of severe stomach pain in 2008.  A doctor gave her a prescription.  When she got home and opened the paper with the prescription on it, it was a drawing of a beer bottle with a circle slashed through it.
  • Carol McFadden went to the doctor with a lump in her breast, only to be told she could’ve gone to mammography herself.  She now has Stage 4 breast cancer, and it has spread to her liver.
  • McFadden reports that whilst some doctors have been compassionate, others have been rude and brusque, to the point where they kick her bed when they want her attention, and continually asking her if she drinks or does drugs.

I recently read Joanna Burke’s book, The Story of Pain: From Prayer to Painkillers.  In it, she talks about the body in pain, and the responses thereto, both from the victims of the pain, as well as the medical profession.  Nineteenth century doctors, insofar as they discussed the colonialized body, they dismissed the idea that indigenous bodies could feel pain in the same way that an upper-class British man could.   For that matter, they also argued that working-class men had a higher tolerance to pain.  Their recommendation was to try to take the body in pain seriously, but not to be sympathetic, to be brusque when talking to the victim.  We live in the twenty-first century.  Why are aboriginal peoples treated this way by doctors?

Of course I know why, Canada is a deeply, deeply racist society vis-à-vis the aboriginal population.  It is acceptable in Canada to be openly racist against First Nations people.  I wish I could say I was surprised by the findings of this report.  I am not.

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§ 3 Responses to Canada’s National Shame redux

  • dougstuber says:

    Big Bear
    We ignored you after 22 – 30 million died
    in World War II. Favored China, reliably
    corrupt, into having a Feudal class, but you lacked
    the prowess to extract your own oil, we could still
    do oil business with you, Big Bear, but the rest
    went to China: the shipping, manufacturing, even
    new mergers wherein Chinese firms now own Volvo
    and the PC division of IBM! So Sochi was to be
    Putin’s horse, so someone burned Kiev right then!
    (CIA?) Distressed, due to the viciousness of events
    Around the globe, neighborhood, we divert attention
    from our own digression at home to a potential
    (yet again) war in a third party’s country, Ukraine,
    which NATO is willing to exterminate in order to lure
    today’s tanks into a larger skirmish in case the ISIS
    crisis flames out. Gotta have back up wars and back
    them up in case the main wars sputter. It’s a new
    Pentagon directive, as witnessed by the annual troop
    and ship movements every March on the North/South
    Korean border. Tom “Obama-Hawk” drones fly again.

    Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

  • […] In short, Canada has historically abused and committed violence upon the indigenous population.  And it’s not like it’s got any better in recent times. […]

  • […] reflects a deeply racist Canadian society.  I have written about this numerous times (here, here, here, and here, for […]

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