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Introduction to Determinants of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples’ Health in Canada
Edited by Margo Greenwood, Sarah de Leeuw, Roberta Stout, Roseann Larstone, and Julie Sutherland
Canadian Scholars Press / Softcover / Sep 2022
9781773383194 (ISBN-10: 1773383191)
Indigenous Peoples
price: $67.95 (may be subject to change)
400 pages
Not in Stock, usually ships in 7-10 business days

This critical new volume to the field of health studies offers an introductory overview of the determinants of health for Indigenous Peoples in Canada, while cultivating an understanding of the presence of coloniality in health care and how it determines First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples’ health and well-being.

The text is broken down into the What, Where, Who, and How, and each part contains a comprehensive and holistic approach to understanding the many factors, historical and contemporary, that are significant in shaping the life and health of Indigenous Peoples in Canada and beyond. Comprising wisdoms from First Nations, Inuit, and Métis leaders, knowledge holders, artists, activists, clinicians, health researchers, students, and youth, this book offers practical insights and applied knowledge about combating coloniality and transforming health care systems in Canada.

Compiled by experienced editors associated with the National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous Health, Introduction to Determinants of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples’ Health in Canada draws together the work and writings of primarily Indigenous authors, including academics, community leaders, and health care practitioners. This accessible and timely introduction is a vital undergraduate resource, and invaluable for introducing key concepts and ideas to students new to the field.


• written in accessible, engaging language, with pertinent context for theory, to garner a more thorough understanding of core concepts
• showcases poetry and visual art by First Nations, Inuit, and Métis artists
• contains additional pedagogical features, including questions for critical thought, a glossary of terms, figures, charts, tables, and comprehensive part introductions


“This is a timely textbook for health programs that have introduced introductory undergraduate Indigenous health courses or are considering doing so. It is both strong analytically in terms of situating Indigenous health in the context of colonization and the racism that Indigenous peoples experience, but it also provides a refreshing “first person” perspective with Indigenous voices articulating these experiences from a life history perspective. This book is written in a very accessible manner and will be useful for students with limited background in Indigenous histories and cultures, and it should also appeal to Indigenous students who should find it a culturally safe resource. It will also be useful in health professional training where programs provide for more substantive exposure to Indigenous health issues.”

—Dr. John O’Neil, Professor of Global and Indigenous Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University

“This book will be very useful for students in many disciplines who are actively searching for decolonizing knowledge. Not only are colonial histories and impacts clearly illustrated, but the stories throughout the book authentically represent the ongoing strengths and challenges experienced in Indigenous communities. It is an important collection of voices that elevate Indigenous experience and perspectives.”

—Leanne Kelly, Assistant Teaching Professor, School of Nursing, University of Victoria

Table of Contents


Poetic Foreword, by Rita Bouvier

Self-Care and Emotional Trigger Warning

Introduction Indigenous Health in Canada and Beyond—A Call for Reflection, Action, and Transformation, by Sarah de Leeuw, Roberta Stout, Roseann Larstone, Julie Sutherland, and Margo Greenwood

Part I: Determinants of Health for Indigenous People

Chapter 1: Reflections on Love and Learning with the Yintah, by We’es Tes, Sandra Martin Harris and Christine Añonuevo

Chapter 2: First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Children’s Mental Wellness, by Margo Greenwood and Roseann Larstone

Chapter 3: Food as Relationship: Indigenous Food Systems and Well-Being, by Tabitha Robin

Chapter 4: Forced Sterilization: A Malicious Determinant of Health, by Yvonne Boyer and Rod Leggett

Chapter 5: Matriarchal Wisdom: Indigenous Women’s and Perinatal Health, by Jennifer Leason and Julie Sutherland

Chapter 6: A Reflective Poetic Narrative About a Fine Balance: Indigenous Women’s and Gender Diverse People’s Sexual and Reproductive Health, by Cassandra Felske-Durksen with Lisa Boivin

Part I Creative Contribution: Treaty Letter, by Armand Garnet Ruffo

Part II: Geographies and Ecologies of Indigenous Land, Health, and Philosophy

Chapter 7: Waskítaskamik: On the Face of the Earth, by Madeleine Kétéskwew Dion Stout and Miyawata Dion Stout

Chapter 8: Damaged, Not Broken: An Interview about White Settler Violence and Indigenous Health, by Mary Teegee and Sarah de Leeuw

Chapter 9: Our Highways, Our Tears: Indigenous Women’s and Two Spirit People’s Health and Resource Extraction, by Ryan O’Toole, Onyx Sloan Morgan, and Laura McNab-Coombs

Chapter 10: Legislation, Reconciliation, and Water: Moving Upstream to Implement the UNDRIP in BC and Promote Indigenous Peoples’ Health, by Danièle Behn Smith and Shannon Waters

Chapter 11: Inuktut as a Public Health Issue, by Aluki Kotierk

Part II Creative Contribution: Cactus and Wild Roses, by Garry Gottfriedson

Part III: Supporting Healthy Indigenous Communities

Chapter 12: Vaccine Mistrust: A Legacy of Colonialism, by Margo Greenwood and Noni MacDonald

Chapter 13: Taking Care: Indigenous Peoples’ Art, Resurgence, and Wellness, by Jaimie Isaac

Chapter 14: A Path in the Snow: How Indigenous Medical Trainees Can Inspire Indigenous Youth to Become Medical Doctors, by Thomsen D’Hont

Chapter 15: Youth Protection, Social Determinants of Health, and Reappropriation of Decision-Making Power: Quebec First Nations Demands, by Marjolaine Siouï, Patricia Montambault, Michel Deschênes, Marie-Pier Paul, Leila Ben Messaoud, and Richard Gray (First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission)

Part III Creative Contribution: Angled Windows, by Lee Maracle

Part IV: Practical Applications

Chapter 16: Transforming Medical Education, by Lisa Richardson and Julie Sutherland

Chapter 17: Learning from the Elders: Traditional Knowledge and Cultural Safety within Health Science Education, by Donna L. M. Kurtz and Elder Jessie Nyberg

Chapter 18: Indigenous Food Sovereignty: Realizing its Potential for Indigenous Decolonization, Self-Determination, and Community Health, by Charlotte Coté

Chapter 19: Walking with Our Most Sacred: Indigenous Birth Workers Clearing the Path for Returning Birthing to Indigenous Communities, by Jaime Cidro, Ashley Hayward, Rachel Bach, and Stephanie Sinclair

Chapter 20: Systems Innovation through First Nations Self-Determination, by Harmony Johnson, Danièle Behn Smith, and Lindsay Beck

Part IV Creative Contribution: ????? (to sit down for a long time), by Norma Dunning


Contributor Biographies


About the Editors:

Margo Greenwood is a Cree scholar and Professor of Education and First Nations Studies at the University of Northern British Columbia.

Sarah de Leeuw is an award-winning creative writer and Canada Research Chair in Humanities and Health Inequities with the University of Northern British Columbia’s Northern Medical Program in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia.

Roberta Stout is a Senior Policy Advisor in the Health Sector at the Assembly of First Nations and a member of Kehewin Cree Nation.

Roseann Larstone is Regional Director, Indigenous Health at the Northern Health Authority in British Columbia and lecturer in the Northern Medical Program at the University of Northern British Columbia. She is a member of the Manitoba Métis Federation.

Julie Sutherland is a Research Associate with the National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous Health and an award-winning lecturer. She is the author of an illustrated anthology, Bright Poems for Dark Days (2021), which is rooted in the belief that literature and the arts contribute to mental wellness.

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