Nursing Leadership

Nursing Leadership 14(2) November 2001 : 20-25.doi:10.12927/cjnl.2001.19132

Understanding the Broader Context: The Health of the Urban Native Canadian

Natasha Prodan-Bhalla


The average life expectancy for a Native male is 66, and for a non-Native male, 76. It is undisputed that the health of the Native Canadian is poor, yet substantial inequalities remain. One of the reasons these inequalities remain in the shallow, limited understanding of the poor health of the urban Native Canadian which, in turn, leads to quick fixes and temporary solutions.

The purpose of the following paper is to give nursing leaders an accurate description of the poor health status of the urban Native Canadian, as well as a description of the perpetuating events leading up to their current situation. Once this is understood, the nursing profession can work with urban Native Canadian towards sustainable, long-term solutions.

The following paper provides an overview of the historical oppression of the Native Canadian, a discussion on the effects of marginalization and the subsequent adaptation process, an overview of the current health status of the urban Native Canadian and a practical assessment tool. The paper concludes with practical suggestions and directions for the future.

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