The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) details the goals of Canada’s Indigenous policies over time. These included the elimination of traditional Indigenous governments and livelihood and the planned expiry of treaty obligations through a process of assimilation. The implementation of these policies has influenced structural factors, such as inadequate housing, poverty, removal from traditional lands, destruction of culture and language, separation of families, restricted access to traditional medicine and limited access to supports, which continue to impact Indigenous peoples’ health and wellbeing. Colonization also brought different values and beliefs that impacted social structures and the way Indigenous peoples relate to each other. This has included shifting social norms, social constructs and structural risks for Two-Spirit and gender diverse populations. A focus on such structural risks, such as housing, poverty, and access to services can provide space to support Indigenous peoples’ health and wellbeing to thrive.
Pulfer, E., O’Brien, K., Xavier, C., Laliberte, N., Maddox, R., & Smylie, J.