Mu Na Kesinukutiwek: engaging the 'Sick Indian' with perspectives of Mi'kmaq on healing and sickness
LE3 .A278 2020
Bachelor of Science
This thesis engages with a narrative on Indigenous peoples, one that is created purposefully to maintain current systems of power between Indigenous people and the colonial state by promoting notions of essential difference, essential sickness, and dysfunction. It is in recognition of these notions that the narrative has been named the “Sick Indian”. This narrative is directly implicated in the creation of discriminatory policies, state coercive force in stealing land and resources, issues of sovereignty, and the creation and perpetuation of a specific power relationship between nations. By using Indigenous research methods associated with oral story in recruitment and knowledge generation, the thesis investigates how this narrative emerges in the truths revealed by co-researchers on their lives and their experiences as Mi’kmaw. Conversations with co- researchers surrounded power, ideas of health, and this concept of the Sick Indian. These interviews explicitly showed that the idea of the purposeful framing of sickness is understood by my Mi’kmaw co-researchers and reveals how the influence of these structures is experienced.
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