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A Long Way from Home: The Tuberculosis Epidemic among the Inuit

AuteurPat Sandiford Grygier
TitreA Long Way from Home: The Tuberculosis Epidemic among the Inuit
ISBN ISSN0773516379
Maisons d'éditionMcGill-Queen's University Press
Publisher URLURL
Place of PublicationMontreal & Kingston.
Publication TypeBook
SujetAboriginal Peoples; Colonialism; State-Aboriginal Relations; Health, Social & Community Services
CRRF IdentifierAP-Co-BR-1989
Last modified14/07/15
English Abstract

Grygier describes the plight of the Inuit people in the face of a tuberculosis epidemic. The author includes the victims' personal narratives throughout the book. Issues examined include: the history of tuberculosis in Canada, the role of colonialism, the government's response to the problem, the effect on the patients' families and livelihood, and the patients' experiences in hospitals and sanatoriums. Finally, the book ends with the author's own critique concerning the epidemic and the Canadian government's role in dealing with the problem.

Isolation in their harsh climate preserved the Inuit from the ravages of southern diseases for thousands of years. But it also left them with no built up immunity, and when the Europeans began to arrive, inadvertently carrying the germs with them, epidemics of measles, influenza, poliomyelitis, and tuberculosis ravaged many of the communities. Usually, a disease hit one community or area, decimated the population, then retreated. But tuberculosis lingered, spread, and became epidemic. Author (p.55).

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