Defining health from a Plains Cree perspective
The current state of Aboriginal health is of national concern. Aboriginal people as a population do not have the same level of health as other Canadians. There has been a long history of providing health care based on Eurocentric (Western) ideology that has not taken into account Aboriginal peoples’ perspective. There is limited research to provide insight toward understanding how Aboriginal people understand, define, and address their health concerns. This study used the Kaupapa Maori Philosophy/Methodology to define health from a Plains Cree (Indigenous) perspective. A qualitative descriptive research study was done in Thunderchild First Nation. A combination of purposeful and convenience snowball sampling was utilized to select 14 participants to reach saturation. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with eleven open-ended questions to facilitate elaborations during the interviews. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the data, and then the data was categorized using the Medicine Wheel. Four broad themes were derived from the data. Health was consistently described in relation to physical, emotional, intellectual (mental), and spiritual wellness. Collectively there does appear to be a holistic perception of health, similar to the teachings from the Medicine Wheel. Half of the participants described health from a holistic perspective and half described health using two of the four components of the Medicine Wheel: physical, emotional, intellectual (mental), and spiritual wellness. Pursuing and maintaining health included a combination of information and practices from both the Western and Traditional Indigenous world. Further collaboration and research is necessary to determine if the findings are similar among other Aboriginal Peoples’ in Saskatchewan.
spiritual wellness, Kaupapa Maori Philosophy, aboriginal health
Master of Nursing (M.N.)
College of Nursing
College of Nursing