The Discourse of On Reserve Housing
Centre of Nursing Science
MNS 620 Culture and Health
Margo deJong Berg
The Discourse of On Reserve Housing
The substance of this paper will be to discuss the discourse regarding the inequalities facing aboriginal peoples living on reserves in the northwestern corner of Ontario. Inequality is not naturally occurring; poverty is not an innate cultural trait that accumulates at the feet of the marginalized (Schick & St.Denis, 2005, p.304). Stephens, Nettleton and Porter stated in the Lancet (2005) “Aboriginal people in Canada suffer enormous inequalities in health and in accessibility to health care (p.4).” The discussion will review the discourse surrounding the significant implications substandard and over crowded housing has on the health of the First Nations people living in these communities. Many reserve communities face overcrowding and substandard housings, such that only 55% of on-reserve housing is not in need of major repairs or replacement (Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, 2000). The inadequacy of the housing conditions is visible evidence of the poverty and marginalization experienced disproportionately by Aboriginal people. It will also reflect on whether changing the dominant discourse would illuminate the poor health effects of substandard and overcrowded housing on this population. Therefore the purpose of this paper will be to analyze the discourse in a northern nursing practice setting as it relates to the housing issues of Aboriginal peoples living of reserve.
Currently the multiple ways in which Aboriginal problems are spoken of within academic, policy and a broader political discourse closely shapes how we view the chronically poor Aboriginal peoples. Looking at the discourse with regard to the housing conditions on reserves in northwest
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