Medicine That Walks


Author:
Lux, Maureen K.
Grade Levels:
College, University
Nation:
Plains
Book Type:
PB
Pages:
300
Publisher:
University of Toronto Press

Price:
Sale price$41.95

Description

Medicine That Walks: Disease, Medicine, and Canadian Plains Native People, 1880 - 1940 provides a grim social history of medicine over the turn of the century. It traces the relationship between the ill and the well, from the 1880s when Aboriginal people were perceived as a vanishing race doomed to extinction, to the 1940s when they came to be seen as a disease menace to the Canadian public. Drawing on archival material, ethnography, archaeology, epidemiology, ethnobotany, and oral histories, historian Maureen Lux describes how bureaucrats, missionaries, and particularly physicians explained the high death rates and continued ill health of the Plains people in the quasi-scientific language of racial evolution that inferred the survival of the fittest. The Plains people's poverty and ill health were seen as both an inevitable stage in the struggle for 'civilization' and as further evidence that assimilation was the only path to good health. The people lived and coped with a cruel set of circumstances, but they survived, in large part because they consistently demanded a role in their own health and recovery. Painstakingly researched and convincingly argued, this work will change our understanding of a significant era in western Canadian history.

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