The American Indian/Alaskan Native people have a heritage that is rich in culture and history rich in conflict, strife, and triumph (Indians.org, n.d.). The American Indian/Alaskan Native have come a long way compared to their ancestors, however, the culture continues to struggle today with disparities such as poverty, poor health, demographic and social challenges, and a severely limited health care system due in part by lack of funding for health
The Navajo Indians of the Southwestern United states have a distinct social organization, kinship, and a both traditional and biomedical way that they approach sickness and healing. Their social organization revolves around their community and the Earth. Kinship for the Navajo is matriarchal and they are a pastoral society. The traditional Navajo have medicine men that the tribe goes to for any sickness and healing that needs to be done. The modern Navajo has established the Indian Health Service as their standard medical facility and agency. I will go into more detail on all three areas of the tribe’s society of the Navajo people throughout this paper.
Different kinds of cancer, diabetes, infectious diseases as well as chronic diseases that was once unknown to the indigenous people has been on the rise within the
Around the globe in countries from Australia and New Zealand to South American and North America there is a disparity in the quality of healthcare and life that indigenous people receive compared to their non-indigenous counterparts (Ring & Brown, 2003). Life expectancy for Aboriginals, the indigenous people of Australia is 19-21 years less than non-indigenous life expectancy; 5-7 years for the Maori population in New Zealand; and 5-7 years less for Native Americans in Canada (Ring and Brown, 2003). In the United States American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) live, on average, 4.2 years less than the rest of the population (Indian Health Disparities, 2015).
Adding to the conversation, academic scholar Daniel Carlock notes, “health disparities between Native Americans and the general population of the United States are a major health concern” (Carlock, Danielle). Hence, an inherent culturally based issue arises where natives are disregarding modern medicine and Western medical practices and instead turning to a traditional holistic approach. Alternative to standard science being the leading factor towards understanding illness and medicine, a cultural barrier divides indigenous peoples perception of the effectiveness of Western science in regards to traditional beliefs. This creates much difficulty for the U.S. government agency the Indian Health Service providing health care and assistance to federally recognized tribes and indigenous peoples. Commenting on Native American health discrepancies, professor James E. Cheek finds “the infectious disease rate in Native Americans populations was significantly higher than that of Whites”(Cheek, James E). This connects Native American cultural beliefs to an increase in medical disparities in relationship to following standard Western medical practices. With tradition ingrained in Native American culture, indigenous medical practices fail to focus on pathology and curing the disease, instead restoring balance between one's mind, body, and spirit is the focus of natives. Consequently, this is leading to standard Western medical practices and medicine being disregarded because Western culture in terms of medicine has been seen to impede important native spirituality beliefs. “The rates for the top ten underlying causes of death were significantly higher for Native American persons than those for whites” (Cheek, James E). This study accounts for the disparities in regards to
Another social determinant of the aboriginal health is the poor compatibility linking the core values of their customary health beliefs and the modern health system. The westernized medical system is mostly interested in the detection and treatment of diseases and illnesses. On the other hand, the traditional aboriginal medication seeks to offer a meaningful justification for illnesses and reacts to the family, personal, and community issues related to the illness (Broome, 2002). This explains why
Before the European settlers arrived in Australia, Indigenous people traditionally led very healthy lifestyles. Their diet consisted of a great variety of fruits and vegetables which they found fresh on the land. The also ate some animal meat which helped to balance their diets. The Aboriginal people did not suffer greatly from disease and were not often sick. “Minor ailments that they did suffer from were often related to the environment they lived in (snake bites, skin irritations, burns from fires), injuries they received from their lifestyle (walking over rugged landscapes, climbing trees for food) and the quality of the food they ate...” and they were always treated by traditional medicines made from local plants. Unfortunately, the health of the Indigenous people worked against the Indigenous people when the Europeans arrived. Because of the lack of illness amongst the Indigenous people, they had not built up immunity to disease. The Europeans exposed a variety of diseases to Indigenous people such as smallpox, influenza, measles, whooping cough, etc. As the settlement in Australia grew, so did the Indigenous people’s exposure to different diseases. These diseases reduced the population of Indigenous people in Australia. Though they tried to fight the diseases with their traditional medicine, it was unsuccessful. When the European settlers arrived in Australia, they did not only bring new people and lifestyles to Australia but also new
In this essay the writer will discuss the colonisation of Australia, and the effects that dispossession had on indigenous communities. It will define health, comparing the difference between indigenous and non- indigenous health. It will point out the benefits and criticism of the Biomedical and sociological models of health, and state why it is important in healthcare to be culturally competent with Transcultural theory. The case study of Rodney will be analyzed to distinguish which models of health were applied to Rodney’s care, and if transcultural theory was present when health care workers were dealing with Rodney’s treatment plan.
It is well studied by health authorities that the current health statistics of the Indigenous population today are clearly reflected on their health status, due to the impacts of the colonisation process. The relating problems associated with this have resulted in destructive families and communities. It is unquestionable that Indigenous Australians were adapted to the environment in which people lived and had control on every feature of their life during the colonisation period. According to ‘The Deplorable State of Aboriginal Ill Health, Chapter 1’ (2014), studies that show that numerous infectious diseases; such as, smallpox and the flu, were not present in the pre-invasion period. It is also shown that lifestyle diseases such as high BP, diabetes and heart diseases were not known to exist.
Though American Indians are enjoying an independent public health system with above $3 billion funds provided by Congress annually for delivering healthcare services to them, still figure and facts on health status of American Indians reveal that they are facing many difficulties and have to suffer from diverse type of illness and disease at a misappropriate level. Since long it was identified by medical communities that there are wide spread diseases diabetes, alcoholism, tuberculosis, suicide, unintentional injuries, and other health conditions among American Indian and they are dying of these diseases at shocking rates (American Heart Association [AHA], 2010). Through this essay I want to discuss the healthcare status of American Indians in the perspective of their culture as how it impacted and lead to develop mistrust between amongst the medical community and American Indians.
“Medicine was religion. Religion was society. Society was medicine” (Fadiman, 1997). To the Hmong’s, this is a way of life. Everything in their culture is interrelated and represents a holistic view. As Americans, we try to incorporate the holistic approach into our health care system, but heavily rely on medications and science to treat illness.
erosion of the Aboriginal culture.(chp.2). Restrictions placed on the cultural practices of the Aboriginal people ultimately led to the abatement of the Aboriginal traditional medicines.(p88). Losing their freedom to practice traditional therapeutics, the Aboriginal people eventually had to adapt to the culturally inappropriate ways of western medicines. The purpose of this paper is to examine the advantages of Aboriginal healing methods for the Aboriginal people, as well as to explain why these traditional methods continued to persist long after western style medicines were introduced.
"Native American medicine is based on widely held beliefs about healthy living, the repercussions of disease-producing behavior, and the spiritual principles that restore balance." -Ken "Bear Hawk" Cohen (Chrisman 1).
A majority of Native American tribes have their own traditions about health and illness. These traditions are not based on todays modern sciences. Instead, they derive from the tribe’s beliefs on harmony. “Healing occurs when someone is restored to harmony and connected to universal powers.” (NLM) To what extent are native cultures entitled to ownership of native medical practices and curatives? Should they be financially reimbursed or are they ethically entitled to refuse to share native knowledge?