Understanding Narratives of Illness and Contagion as a Strategy to Prevent Tuberculosis among Metis in Southern Manitoba
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This study examines how historical and contemporary narratives influence perceptions of tuberculosis among the Métis of southwestern Manitoba. Understanding TB, its prevention, transmission and treatment influence how Métis peoples make a choice when confronted with the illness in their community. These understandings can potentially influence behaviours that contribute to the transmission of the disease or cause delays in seeking medical treatment. Data were obtained by using a qualitative approach that involved interviewing five Métis women, all of whom had a close family member diagnosed with TB. The opened-ended interviews, in combination with personal experience, participant observation, and numerous discussions with people who had direct knowledge of TB in the past and present, provide a glimpse into the reality of how TB narratives influence perceptions regarding the illness. The participant’s intergenerational narratives and the lack of public health messaging potentially leave Métis vulnerable to contracting TB if exposed. This study identifies two primary concerns which need addressing in order to prevent TB from reemerging among the Métis in the southwest region of Manitoba: 1) TB education is essential to correct the misconceptions and misunderstandings expressed through historical and contemporary TB narratives; and 2) the continuing consequences of colonialism, such as poverty and poor health that contribute to TB transmission, need to be acknowledged and rectified.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
CommitteeHackett, Paul; Abonyi, Sylvia; Settee, Priscilla
Copyright DateOctober 2012