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A First Nation Community’s Perspectives of Tuberculosis Open Access


Other title
Community based research
Aboriginal health
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Moffatt, Jessica
Supervisor and department
Mayan, Maria (Extension)
Long, Richard (Medicine)
Examining committee member and department
Mampton, Mary (Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit)
King, Malcolm (Medicine)
Madsen, Karen (Medicine)
Baydala, Lola (Medicine)
Lang, Lori (Public Health Sciences)
Department of Medicine
Experimental Medicine
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Aims: This study aims to 1) provide a platform to discuss and document one First Nations community’s experiences and impacts of tuberculosis (TB); and 2) to understand the social context occurring within the community which may promote continual disease transmission. Methods: This Community-Based Participatory Research study was guided by postcolonial theory. Semi-structured interviews (n=15) were conducted in a northern Alberta First Nations reserve community with a high incidence of tuberculosis. Purposive and snowball sampling was used to obtain our sample. Study inclusion was open to any community member over 14 years of age, who had personally or through an immediate family member, experienced the effects of the disease. Data collection and analysis was iterative, using qualitative content analysis. A Community Advisory Board, which was comprised of community members, Elders, and two community co-investigators, guided the project. Findings: Participants describe the exclusion resulting within, and because of sanitoriums. Exclusion was categorized into 1) the racial segregation of Canadian sanitoriums, where Aboriginal TB patients were excluded from mainstream institutions; 2) the exclusion of Aboriginal culture and practices of healing within the treatment of TB; and 3) the exclusion internal to community members, where members of the community internally labeled the healed individual post-sanitorium as an ‘other’. Participants describe the effect of inadequate housing and overcrowding on the high incidence rates noted in their community. Reasons for inadequate housing are defined broadly to include the impact of cultural norms, endemic crowding, addictive behaviors, and the effects of transitioning to the city. Dissemination: The findings of this study were used to create a community-owned educational video. This video documents 1) the personal and unique stories of community members dealing with TB, and 2) the educational/biomedical aspects of TB. Conclusion: By asking to hear participant’s experiences and understanding about TB, this study sheds light on the conditions (both historical and current) which influence TB transmission today. The findings of this study demonstrate the complexity of health on-reserve, as well as the many ways colonial experiences influence disease progression today.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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