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A Narrative Inquiry into the Experiences of Aboriginal People Living with HIV and Previous Incarceration Open Access


Other title
Narrative Inquiry
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
De Padua, Anthony V
Supervisor and department
Mill, Judy (Nursing)
Barton, Sylvia (Nursing)
Examining committee member and department
Caine, Vera (Nursing)
Ermine, Willie (Indigenous Studies)
Sheilds, Laurene (Nursing)
Grekul, Jana (Sociology)
Faculty of Nursing

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
HIV and AIDS are diseases that are increasingly diagnosed in incarcerated and previously incarcerated Aboriginal persons with little academic inquiry having been done in this field. In this study, I engaged four previously incarcerated Aboriginal men and women in order to understand their experiences of living with HIV and AIDS through personal, human, cultural, and healing domains of being. The four participants resided in Saskatchewan, Canada at the time of the study. I utilized a form of narrative inquiry (Clandinin, 2014; Clandinin & Connelly, 2000) as a relational methodology to guide the research. Through the use of narrative inquiry, I co-constructed multiple stories about HIV and AIDS and determined factors that contributed to the strength and resiliency of my participants. I engaged in 5-6 audio-taped conversations with each participant, lasting between 1-2 hours per conversation. Through a process of moving back and forth through field, interim, and research texts, a synthesis of the 4 participants’ life stories is presented. The dissertation is divided into 8 chapters. The first chapter provides a recount of my first exposure to HIV, Aboriginal people, and reasons why I have chosen to engage in this research. My second chapter is a review of the literature. The third chapter provides a discussion on the use of narrative inquiry as a methodology and a discussion on the relevant issues that arose with this methodology. The fourth, fifth, and sixth chapters are my findings chapters. In these findings chapters, I share my four participants’ stories as well as present beginning narrative threads at the end of each chapter. In the seventh chapter, narrative threads from the findings chapters are pulled together in three common overarching narrative threads. The three threads are traumatization, stigma, and transformation. In the eighth chapter I provide four important key insights from my analytical interpretations. These insights are: 1) that health care providers and participants come from different worlds; 2) children are motivators for the participants to improve their life situations; 3) institutions and historical use of power have contributed to the powerlessness that participants have experienced; 4) culture and healing are linked together. Finally, I provide recommendations for nursing practice, corrections, education, and research.
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. 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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File title: Chapter One: Introduction
File author: Tony de Padua
Page count: 328
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