Diabetes and Glimpses of a 21st Century Eeyou (Cree) Culture

Wed, 10/10/2012 - 13:47 -- admin
TitleDiabetes and Glimpses of a 21st Century Eeyou (Cree) Culture
Publication TypeResearch
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsLouttit S
Abstract

The Eeyou (Cree) populations of Northern Quebec are not unfamiliar with disease. During the last two centuries, Eeyou communities have experienced epidemics with high rates of morbidity due to infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, whooping cough and measles. In the last three decades, Eeyou and non-Eeyou medical experts have observed the recent emergence of Type 2 diabetes mellitus among Eeyou populations. Excessive body weight, changing diets, and sedentary lifestyle concomitant with historical, political, social, and economic changes are believed linked to the illness. In Eeyou Istchee (people's land), the availability and increasing, daily consumption of certain types of 'whiteman' food is deemed a major factor leading to high sugar and cholesterol levels. While 'whiteman' foods are popular sources of daily diet, this fact poses potentially dangerous health risks for current, Eeyou youth generations. On another level, 'Eeyou' foods (wild game) promote an individual and collective sense of health, balance, identity and history of experiencing, maintaining, and integrating Eeyou traditional hunting culture within contemporary non-Eeyou culture.

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