Decline And Rise Of Traditional Medicine

1225 Words Jan 20th, 2015 5 Pages
The Decline and Rise of Traditional Medicine
In his book The Inconvenient Indian, Thomas King makes reference to the “greatly reduced populations” of the indigenous population caused by the arrival of western diseases. In this essay I intend to explore the ways in which the trajectory of the first nation’s community was forever changed not just by the effects of land appropriation but also by other side effects of colonisation. I want to review how the traditional methods of health care, which had serviced the indigenous population for centuries, were challenged by the onslaught of new diseases and later pushed underground by the government’s assimilation attempts and how they have survived these challenges to meet the needs of modern day indigenous Canadians.
In an early copy of The Scientific Monthly, Dr. Hrdlicka of the Smithsonian Institute, was quoted as saying that “before its discovery by Columbus, America was one of the most healthful of continents, if not the most so.” This health status could be attributed to the lifestyle of the indigenous people, their food varying according to the locality where they lived, was meat, fish, vegetables (often eaten raw), nuts, seeds and fruits. Few areas had all these possibilities but, since Indians ate every part of an animal and every edible plant in their locality, they came close an optimal diet. Traditional healers or medicine men as they became known to non-indigenous people were an integral part of the indigenous…
Open Document