Diversity within: Deconstructing Aboriginal community health in Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve

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This paper analyzes the community health of the Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve (WUIR), Ontario, Canada. Results are reported from fieldwork including participant observation, key informant interviewing and self-reported data measuring health status, risk behaviour, place of residence, self-identity, and personal history extracted from 350 interviews conducted during a community-wide needs assessment. The research aimed to create a health plan for the community; however, subsequent analysis of the needs assessment results indicates that internal diversity exists in health status and needs between the seven villages that comprise WUIR. The analysis suggests variation in health status and risk-taking behaviour among community members may be related to varying colonial histories among the villages. The implications of intra-community variation in health status in First Nations are discussed in relation to influential health policy theories such as the determinants of health and health transfer policy in Canada.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)980-989
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2009


  • Canada
  • Colonialism
  • Community
  • Culture
  • Determinants of health
  • First Nations
  • Health disparities
  • Heterogeneity
  • Needs assessment

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