From past to present: understanding First Nations health patterns in a historical context.

  • Hackett P
  • 25


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • N/A


    Citations of this article.


By many measures of health, Canada's First Nations compare very poorly to the non-Native population as a whole. The need to explain, and to correct, this disparity has led public health researchers to consider a wide variety of community characteristics. One area that is as yet under-utilized, but may yield important insights into the complex question of First Nations health, is history. This paper presents an overview of the potential uses of historical methods in the study of the health of First Nations communities in Manitoba. It also introduces the major historical data sources available to public health researchers involved in such research. There are three main benefits to the inclusion of history in public health research. First, we may learn about the impact of health changes on Aboriginal groups in the past. Second, we may better understand the origins of present-day health concerns, many of which emerged out of the events of the recent or not so recent past. Finally, we may gain important insights into the nature of the disease process, and the diseases themselves, by employing the past as a laboratory. The addition of an historical approach can enhance health research directed towards First Nations communities in Manitoba.

Author-supplied keywords

  • 18th Century
  • 19th Century
  • 20th Century
  • Communicable Diseases
  • Communicable Diseases: history
  • History
  • Humans
  • Indians
  • Manitoba
  • North American
  • North American: history

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • Paul Hackett

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free