Sunday, 19 April 2009

Health of the Indigenous Peoples

American Indians at one time were the healthiest of the Nations, now among the Unhealthiest. To reverse this process, to treat the afflictions that have resulted, a Medical AND a Social understanding is necessary.


It is only by your sacrifice that you can bring your goodness and expertise to take effect on your patients. ..Pierre, a patient

If you make a medical error we will forgive you, if you make a social error we will not forgive you… Jim, a patient


American Indians are burdened with a myriad of Physical, Emotional, Social and Traumatic issues. Please make sure you do not add to them, instead provide relief to each of their concerns… Michele, a coworker


INDIANS as the Native populations of the American Continent are called, refer to themselves by their individual tribal identities. They are the most studied group of people on Earth, having been subjected to all sorts of scrutiny over the years: Medical, Psychological and Anthropological.

UmonHon Tribe with whom all the major early Anthropologists had worked, have even given the nomenclature for Kinship system now used all over the world: The Omaha Kinship. Franz Boas, considered Father of American Physical Anthropology had noted in his book published in 1907 that “ Pathologic Obesity does not exist among the Indians, and their health is superior to that of their European neighbours “.

What has happened in the intervening 100 years and how can we go back to the previous state of excellent health enjoyed by the Indians? A successful approach would be a role model for other indigenous peoples of the world, such as Australian Aboriginals, San Bushmen, Aotearoa NZ Maoris as well as the population in emergent economies such as Bresil, India, China with an already heavy burden of the suffering from Diabetes.