Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Lux on Canada's "Indian Hospitals"

Maureen K. Lux (Brock University) has published Separate Beds: A History of Indian Hospitals in Canada, 1920s-1980s (University of Toronto Press). From the publisher:
Separate Beds: A History of Indian Hospitals in Canada, 1920s-1980sSeparate 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, Maureen K. Lux describes 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. A disturbing look at the dark side of the liberal welfare state, Separate Beds reveals a history of racism and negligence in health care for Canada’s First Nations that should never be forgotten.
 Some blurbs: 
"Canada has a painful history of racially segregated hospitals that were intended to isolate and institutionalize Aboriginal people seen as a menace and danger to the nation. Separate Beds is a sophisticated, analytical, and lucid history of this neglected chapter of Canada's history and of the strength and resolve of Aboriginal communities to return to the management of their health care." -Sarah Carter
"Lux's monumental work helps us understand more about the historical roots of the health care system we have inherited, one which is still influenced by racism, inequality and exclusion, but one that has changed over time and can thus change again." -Mary Jane McCallum 
"In painstaking research and matter-of-fact reportage, Associate Professor Lux of Brock University documents Canadian apartheid. Separate Beds: A History of Indian Hospitals In Canada is a riveting and extraordinary account of mistreatment of citizens." -Tom Korski
More information is available here