Nursing and Native Peoples in northern Saskatchewan: 1930s-1950s

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Issue Date
2001
Authors
Meijer Drees, Laurie
McBain, Lesley
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Abstract
The aim of this research is to investigate the role of nurses in northern Saskatchewan Aboriginal communities in Canada between 1930 and the 1950s. During and after the war, the federal government began sharing its responsibilities for delivering health services to Indian communities with a growing system of provincial Public Health nursing stations. In northern Saskatchewan, interaction between Aboriginal peoples and the state health care system occurred primarily through provincial Public Health nurses permanently stationed at these outpost clinics. What was the role of nurses in these communities? How did federal Indian health policy influence nurses' behaviour? Based on the record available for Saskatchewan, it appears the outpost clinics delivered standard nursing care. It also appears that the federal government was eager to devolve its responsibilities for Indian health care to the province, and that its tenuous commitment to providing health care caused confusion in the treatment of patients.
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