Representation of traditional medicine between community members and healthcare providers in Quebec’s First Nations communities.

Date and Time: 
Friday, 12 May, 2017 - 11:30
, Michel - Université de Montréal and Université de Guyane
, Vanessa - Université de Montréal
, Caroline - Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)
, Lise - Université de Montréal
, Thomas - Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)
, Pierre - Université de Montréal
, Damien - Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)
, Alain - Université de Montréal

Type 2 diabetes in Canada’s indigenous communities is 3 to 5 times higher than the national average. Regardless of efforts to increase access to healthcare services, diabetes continues to disrupt health and quality of life. Because healthcare services are largely perceived as an occidental import, increased access to traditional medicine may increase treatment outcomes. Objectives were to define and highlight community representation of health and traditional medicine in contrast to local healthcare providers. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in two Québec First Nation communities. These were held with community members (knowledge keepers and healthcare service users) and healthcare providers (professionals and administrators). For community members, traditional medicine was identity-defining thus comprising language, culture and the land (i.e. plants, animals, water), whereas healthcare providers focused more on tangible aspects (i.e. medicinal plants, animals). Services could be culturally adapted, namely, through strengthening knowledge transfer in community networks and increasing land-based healing.