Indigenous Knowledge, Land, and History: The Determinants of American Indian Health

Start: Thursday, September 25, 2014 - 12:30 am

End: Thursday, September 25, 2014 - 2:00 pm

UNM SUB, Rm. Lobo A&B

Emerging research demonstrates that disease and ill health are the result of the "circumstances in which people grow, live, work, and age, and the systems put in place to deal with illness. The conditions in which people live and die are, in turn, shaped by political, social, and economic forces" (CSDH, 2008, p. iii). For American Indians, the places in which they "grow, live, work, and age" are intertwined with history and colonization, including land loss and destruction, breakdown in social structure, and change in lifeway (LaDuke, 1999; Ferreira & Lang, 2006; Gracey & King, 2009; Walters et al., 2011). Although the conceptual framework created by the Commission on the Social Determinants of Health may be useful for the wider population, it does not consider unique aspects of American Indian communities. American Indians are a colonized people who have undergone a traumatic history and tremendous change and continue to transition as a colonized people. Given their distinctive history, possession of indigenous knowledge, and unique political status as members of "sovereign" nations, additional determinants or alternate ways of examining health are necessary.

Publication Date: 
Thursday, 25 September 2014 - 1:00am