Knowledge Resources & Publications

Webinar: Separate Beds: A History of Indian Hospitals in Canada, 1920s – 1980s

December 2018

Overview

A Public Health and Preventative Medicine (PHPM) webinar hosted by the National Collaborating Centres for Aboriginal Health (NCCAH) and Infectious Diseases (NCCID).

This webinar will provide an overview of the book Separate Beds: A History of Indian Hospitals in Canada, 1920s – 1980s. Separate Beds is the shocking story of Canada’s system of segregated health care. Operated by the same bureaucracy that was expanding health care opportunities for most Canadians, the “Indian Hospitals” were underfunded, understaffed, overcrowded, and rife with coercion and medical experimentation. Established to keep the Aboriginal tuberculosis population isolated, they became a means of ensuring that other Canadians need not share access to modern hospitals with Aboriginal patients. Tracing the history of the system from its fragmentary origins to its gradual collapse, Dr. Lux will describe the arbitrary and contradictory policies that governed the “Indian Hospitals,” the experiences of patients and staff, and the vital grassroots activism that pressed the federal government to acknowledge its treaty obligations. Webinar participants will gain a deeper appreciation of this legacy which continues to affect attitudes and perceptions about TB today.

Learning objectives

At the end of the webinar, participants will:

  • Understand the history of Indian hospitals in Canada and their relevance to contemporary Indigenous health inequities.
  • Understand how Indian hospitals intersect with race, medicine, and public policy in the wider context of twentieth-century Canadian health care.
  • Have strengthened CanMEDS competencies in health advocacy and professionalism.

Speaker

Dr. Maureen Lux, Professor and Chair of the History Program, Brock University.

Maureen Lux is Professor and currently Chair of History at Brock University. She studies the history of Indigenous-state relations, health, and health care in 19th- and 20th-century Canada. Her latest book, Separate Beds: A History of Indian Hospitals in Canada, 1920s to 1980s (2016) won the Canadian Historical Association prize for the best book in Indigenous History, as well as the Royal Society of Canada’s Jason Hannah Medal for significant contribution to the history of medicine. She is currently at work on a history of reproductive politics in Canada in the 1970s.

Recommended reading

Lux, M. K. (2016). Separate beds: A history of Indian hospitals in Canada, 1920s-1980s. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.


Webinar resources

 


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