McMaster University Randy Jackson Department of Health, Aging and Society Office: KTH 312

McMaster University
Department of Health, Aging and Society
Randy Jackson
Office: KTH 312
905-525-9140 X27960
[email protected]
Office Hours: Tuesdays 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Thursdays 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
HLTH AGE 4F03: Selected Issues in the Social Aspects of Health:
2013/2014 (Winter Term)
Tuesdays (2:30 PM to 5:20 PM)
Course Description
This course provides students with an overview of Aboriginal health and wellness in Canada.
Students will learn to critically examine and reflect on the historic, economic, social, cultural, and
political determinants of Aboriginal health and wellness using a variety of theories and frameworks.
At the end of the course, students will have acquired an overview and a critical understanding of
health challenges facing Aboriginal people, key determinants of health that shape health, and will
have identified ways to foster resilient responses that strengthen Aboriginal health and wellness in
Course Objectives
By the end of the course, students:
 Will be able to identify, describe and reflect on some of the major health challenges confronting
Aboriginal peoples in Canada.
 Will have developed a critical understanding of several or more major theories and frameworks
used to understand Aboriginal health and wellness.
 Will have developed an understanding and able to reflect on ways to strengthen Aboriginal
health in Canada.
Suggested Textbooks
Douglas, V. (2013). Introduction to Aboriginal Health and Health Care in Canada. New York, New
York: Springer Publishing Company.
Waldram, J., Herring, DA. & Young, KT. (2007). Aboriginal Health in Canada: Historical, Cultural
and Epidemiological Perspectives. Toronto, Ontario: University of Toronto Press.
Course Evaluation
Class Participation, Readings and Engagement (15%)
Class participation and engagement is an important component of this course (and of active
learning). Therefore, all students are expected to be ‘active’ participants in this course. This means
attending all classes, completing all readings prior to class, being actively involved in all class
activities and participating in thoughtful discussion, as well as, completing all assignments.
Your participation grade will be significantly influenced by your active involvement in class, and the
quality of that involvement. Lack of participation, or ‘negative participation’, will also significantly
influence your participation grade (but in a negative way)! So you are aware of the types of activities
or behaviours that will be considered ‘negative’ class participation, they include the following:
missing classes, talking to classmates about things that are not a contribution to the class discussion,
general nonparticipation or disruption of class/class activities, sleeping during class, coming to class
late or leaving early, and using any of the following electronic devices: cell phones, mp3 players,
iPods, iPads and other electronic devices. Computers may be used in class but ONLY for note
taking purposes. Evidence of using the computer for anything other than note taking will be
considered negative class participation. The success of this course depends on you! And students
who are most successful in this course fulfil these expectations, and engage in all aspects of the
Reflective Writing—Your Story (20%)
Students will be asked to reflect on a specific topic offered in the course’s assigned readings.
Students will be encouraged to think through their opinions about the different theories/ideas
presented in class and how these theories/ideas are similar or different from your previous thinking
about Aboriginal health and wellness. The grade for reflective writing will be based on the quality of
reflections. Taken into account will be the evidence you provide that you are completing and
thinking about the assigned readings, that you are thinking about the topics discussed in class, and
that you are thinking about how readings related to your own opinions, thoughts, feelings about
Aboriginal health and wellness in Canada. No outside research is required to complete these
reflective papers. Although focused on a specific week’s readings, you expected to also draw on any
of the other course’s readings relevant to your assignment. Reflective writing papers will not exceed
1,250 to 1,750 words (approximately 5 to 7 pages). You will chose your topic based on the term’s
schedule of topics/readings. All reflective writing papers will be assigned on the first day of classes.
Student Group Led Seminar (25%)
Working in groups of three to four students, each group will present the readings for that week and
guide the group discussion. In this presentation, if presenting readings is selected, students are
expected to address the following questions: (1) What are the key or salient points from the reading?;
(2) Why are these key or salient points important?; (3) Imagine someone who has an opposing
viewpoint, and provide an argument that you would use to counter their objections; and (4) Identify
a persistent question or two that remains for you based on the reading for class discussion.
For all group assignments, ALL students in the group must be contributing members of that
assignment. The expectation is that each student will be an active and respectful member of their
group, and contribute to the assignment - in a fair and equitable way. Group work is sometimes
challenging, but it can also be rewarding in a number of ways, including providing you with
opportunities to develop valuable ‘working-as-a-team’ skills that will serve you well in this and other
courses, as well as more broadly in your academic, professional, and personal life. Class time will be
set aside for group work and students will be expected to remain in class to complete their group
Final Term Paper (40%)
The main project for this course is a final term paper on a specific Aboriginal health and wellness
issue of interest to each individual student. The final term paper must include three parts. In part
one, students are expected to describe the breadth and scope of an Aboriginal health problem of
interest. In part two, students will examine the determinants of health for the selected health
problem using the theories discussed in class and in the readings to explain how these determinants
are impacting the health problem. In the third part, students will describe one or more health
initiatives that could be put in place to address the health problem. Initiatives can outline responses
you have developed or actions/policies already in place. Plan to spend an adequate amount of time
explaining why these chosen initiatives might be effective using content and theories from the
course readings, lectures, group discussions and outside research. For the final term paper, additional
references from outside the course are expected. Plan to include at least an additional 10 to 12
scholarly citations that you have assessed as pertinent to your topic area. Please refrain from using
online websites such as Wikipedia. The final paper should be clearly divided into the sections
described above using headings to separate each section. Additional use of sub-headings—in
addition to major sections headings—throughout your paper is strongly encouraged.
Summary of Evaluation
Date Due*
Readings and participation
Reflective Writing Papers
Student Led Seminar
Final Term Paper
April 11, 2014
Formatting and Handing in Assignments
All written assignments are expected to adhere to scholarly standards, be well edited, and of high
quality. Please include a title page with your name, student number and email address, the topic title
of the assignment and the date submitted. All assignments will be typed using Microsoft Word (or
similar word processing program) in Times New Roman with the font set to 12 pts., aligned left, line
spacing set to double, and with all margins set to 2.54 cm. In addition to evaluating the quality of
your academic arguments, papers will also be assessed on the basis of academic writing style,
grammar and spelling, and on the structure and content of the argument. All papers will use the
American Psychological Association referencing style. APA style guidelines are available at Mills
Library. Other formatting guidelines such as MLA and Chicago-Turabian are commonly used at
McMaster and are worth learning, but this course uses APA style as a common standard to
streamline teaching, learning, and peer proof-reading.
Late Submissions
All work is due on the date stated, at the beginning of class, unless other arrangements have been
made in advance with the instructor. A late penalty of 5 percentage points per day will apply after
the due date (weekends included).
Support Services
Student Accessibility Services offers group and individual consultation about effective learning
strategies, essay writing, and study habits, accommodations, assistive technology, advocacy, and
support for students with disabilities and personal counselling. If you believe these services may be
helpful to you, contact (905) 525-9140 (ext. 28652); [email protected]
If you require this information in an alternate/accessible format, please contact the Department of
Health, Aging & Society at (905) 525-9140 (ext. 27227).
Avenue to Learn
In this course we will be using Avenue to Learn but students should be aware that when they access
the components of this course, private information such as first and last names, user names for the
McMaster email accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the
same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in this
course will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such
disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.
Policy for Returning Assignments/Posting Grades
In accordance with regulations set out by the Freedom of Information and Privacy Protection Act,
the University will not allow the return of graded materials by placing them in boxes in departmental
offices or classrooms so that students may retrieve their papers themselves; all tests and assignments
must be returned directly to the student.
And since it is important for student learning and skills development that students receive feedback
on their assignments as they progress through the course, you can expect to receive feedback
(comments and a grade) on each of your assignments in a timely fashion. This will allow you the
opportunity to see how you performed on each assignment and time to discuss any questions you
might have with your instructor.
The following possibilities exist for return of graded materials:
 Direct return of materials to students in class;
 Return of materials to students during office hours;
 Students attach a stamped, self-addressed envelope when submitting assignments for return by
mail (for final capstone assignment only); and
 Submit/grade/return papers electronically using Dropbox on Avenue to Learn.
Arrangements will be finalized for the return of assignments from the options listed above by the
instructor during the first class. Grades for assignments may only be posted using the last 5 digits of
the student number as the identifying data. Final grades for the course will be posted on MUGSI.
University Policy on Academic Dishonesty
You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process.
Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity. Academic
dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic
credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an
assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: “Grade of F assigned for
academic dishonesty”), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.
It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the
various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at
The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:
 Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been
 Improper collaboration in group work.
 Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.
Faculty of Social Sciences E-mail Communication Policy
Effective September 1, 2010, it is the policy of the Faculty of Social Sciences that all e-mail
communication sent from students to instructors (including to TAs), and from students to staff,
must originate from the student’s own McMaster University e-mail account. This policy protects
confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure
that communication is sent to the university from a McMaster account. If an instructor becomes
aware that a communication has come from an alternate address, the instructor may not reply at his
or her discretion.
Email Forwarding in MUGSI:
*Forwarding will take effect 24-hours after students complete the process at the above link
(Approved at the Faculty of Social Sciences meeting on Tues. May 25, 2010).
McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)
This on-line self-reporting tool is for undergrad students to report one absence of up to 5 days per
term. The MSAF gives you the ability to request relief for any missed academic work during that
one absence. Please note: this tool cannot be used during any final examination period.
You may submit only 1 MSAF per term. This form should be filled out as soon as possible before
you return to class after your absence. It is YOUR responsibility to follow up with your instructor
immediately (within 48 hours of submitting the MSAF) in person or by email regarding the nature of
the relief that is possible for the missed work.
If you are absent more than 5 days or exceed 1 request per term you MUST visit the office of the
Associate Dean in your Faculty. You may be required to provide supporting documentation to the
Faculty office. You must NOT submit any medical or other relevant documentation to your
instructor. Your instructor may NOT ask you for such documentation. All documentation requests
will only come from the Faculty office.
You must visit the following link to locate the MSAF to report your absence
Access Copyright Regulations
McMaster University holds a licensing agreement with Access Copyright, the Canadian Copyright
Licensing Agency. Information on current regulations for copying for education purposes can be
found at the following website:
Student Accessibility Services or SAS (formerly Centre for Student Development or CSD)
If you have an accommodation letter from SAS, you are required to provide a copy of that letter to
your instructor. Please be sure that you arrange academic accommodations through SAS as early as
possible in order that the instructor can receive the accommodation letter as early as possible in the
What are my responsibilities as a student registered at SAS? Students are responsible to identify
themselves to Student Accessibility Services on an annual and regular basis in order to receive
accommodations and services. Students are responsible for:
 Meeting their SAS Program Coordinator prior to, or at the start of each academic term
(September, January and summer sessions);
 Providing their SAS Program Coordinator with relevant and professional medical or
psychological documentation;
 Notifying their SAS Program Coordinator if courses are dropped or added, or if
accommodations require a change;
 Meeting with individual course instructors to discuss specific needs in relation to the course and
their disability; and
 Providing the course instructor with their accommodation letter from SAS.
For more information, see the SAS website:
Lecture Schedule
Jan 7
Introductions and
Course Overview
Davis, W. (2003). Dreams from Endangered Cultures. (Available
Jan 14
Aboriginal Peoples
and Health in
Canada (continued)
Adelson, N. (2005). The embodiment of inequity: health
disparities in Aboriginal Canada. Canadian Journal of Public Health,
96: S45-S-61.
Gracey, M. & King, M. (2009). Indigenous health, part 1:
determinants and disease patterns. The Lancet, 374: 65-75.
King, M., Smith, A., & Gracey, M. (2009). Indigenous health, part
2: the underlying causes of the health gap. The Lancet, 374: 76-85.
Jan 21
Western and
Brant Castellano, M. (2000). Updating Aboriginal traditions of
knowledge. In G. Sefa Dei, B. Hall, & D. Goldin Rosenburg
Aboriginal Ways of
(Eds.), Indigenous Knowledges in Global Contexts: Multiple Readings of
Our World (pp. 21-36). Toronto, Ontario: University of Toronto
Douglas, V. (2013). Introduction to Aboriginal Health and Health
Care in Canada. New York, New York: Springer Publishing
Company. (pgs. 21-35).
King, T. (2003). The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative.
Toronto, Ontario: Harper Collins Canada Ltd. (pgs. 1-29).
Jan 28
Cultural Sensitivity
and Cultural Safety
Barlow, K., Loppie, C., Jackson, R., Akan, M., MacLean, L. &
Reimer, G. (2008). Culturally Competent Service Provision Issues
Experienced by Aboriginal People Living with HIV/AIDS.
Pimatisiwin, 6 (2): 155-180.
Baker, A. & Giles, A. (2012). Cultural safety: a framework for
interactions between Aboriginal patients and Canadian family
practitioners. Journal of Aboriginal Health, 9 (1): 15-22.
National Aboriginal Health Organization (2006). Cultural
Safety/Cultural Competence in Aboriginal Health: An Annotated
Bibliography. Available at
Feb 4
Historical Overview
of Aboriginal
Peoples Health
Kelm, ME. (2004). Wilp wa’ums: colonial encounter,
decolonization and medical care among the Nisga’a. Social Science
& Medicine, 59: 335-3349.
Mark, GT. & Lyons, AC. (2010). Maori healers’ views on
wellbeing: the importance of mind, body, spirit, family and land.
Social Science & Medicine, 70 (11): 1756-1764.
Robbins, JA. & Dewar, J. (2011). Traditional Indigenous
approaches to healing and the modern welfare of traditional
knowledge, spirituality and lands: a critical reflection on practices
and policies taken from the Canadian Indigenous example.
International Indigenous Policy Journal, 2 (4). Available at
Feb 11
Determinants of
Health and
Czyzewski, K. (2011). Colonialism as a broader social determinant
of health. International Journal of Indigenous Policy Journal, 2 (1).
Available at
Aboriginal Peoples
Loppie-Reading, C. & Wien, F. (2011). Health inequalities and social
determinants of Aboriginal peoples’ health. Available at
NCCAH (2009). Housing as a determinant of First Nations, Inuit and
Métis health. Prince George, BC: Author. Available at
Feb 18
Feb 25
Diabetes, Diet and Thompson, SJ. & Gifford, SM. Trying to keep a balance: the
meaning of health and diabetes in an urban Aboriginal
community. Social Science & Medicine, 51 (10): 1457-1472.
Bodirsky, M. & Johnson, J. (2008). Decolonizing diet: healing by
reclaiming traditional Indigenous foodways. Journal of Canadian
Food Cultures, 1. Available from
Wilson, K. & Rosenberg, MW. (2002). Exploring the determinants
of health for First Nations peoples in Canada: can existing
frameworks accommodate traditional activities? Social Science &
Medicine, 55 (11): 2017-2031.
Mar 4
Chronic and
Infectious Disease
Public Health Agency of Canada (2010). Population-specific
HIV/AIDS status report: Aboriginal peoples. Ottawa, Ontario:
Author. Available from
Reading, J. (2009). The crisis of chronic disease among Aboriginal peoples:
a challenge for public health, population health and social policy. Victoria,
British Columbia: Center for Aboriginal Health Research at the
University of Victoria. Available from
Smyli, J. (2001). A guide for health professionals working with Aboriginal
peoples. Health issues affecting Aboriginal peoples. Ottawa, Ontario:
Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada. Available
Mar 11
Women’s and
Children Health
Bourassa, C. et al. (2004). Racism, sexism, and colonialism: the
impact on the health of Aboriginal women in Canada. Canadian
Women Studies, 24 (1): 23-29.
Peltier, D., Jackson, R., Prentice, T., Maching, R., Monette, L.,
Fong, M., Shore, K. (2013). When women pick up their bundles:
HIV prevention and related service needs of Aboriginal women in
Canada. In Gahagan, J. (Ed.), Women and HIV Prevention in Canada:
Implications for Research, Policy, and Practice. (pgs. 85-104). Toronto,
Ontario: Women’s Press.
Postl, B., Cook, C., & Moffatt, M. (2010). Aboriginal child health
and the social determinants. Healthcare Quarterly, 14: 42-51.
Mar 18
Mental Health
Cain, R., Jackson, R., Prentice, T., Collins, E., Mill, J., Barlow, K.
(2013). The Experience of HIV diagnosis among aboriginal people
living with HIV/AIDS and depression. Qualitative Health Research,
23 (6): 815-824.
Cain, R., Jackson, R., Prentice, T., Mill, J., Collins, E., Barlow, K.
(2011). Depression among aboriginal people living with HIV in
Canada. Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health, 30 (1): 105120.
Mar 25
Knowledge and
the Knowledge
Bartlett, J., Iwasaki, Y., Gottlieb, B., Hall, D., & Mannell, R.
(2007). Framework for Aboriginal-Guided Decolonizing Research
Involving Metis and First Nations Persons with Diabetes. Social
Science & Medicine, 65, 2371-2382.
Ball, J., & Janyst, P. (2008). Enacting Research Ethics in
Partnerhips with Indigenous Communities in Canada: "Do it in a
Good Way". Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research
Ethics, 3 (2), 33-51.
Jacklin, K., & Kinoshameg, P. (2008). Developing a Participatory
Aboriginal Health Research Project: "Only If It's Going to Mean
Something". Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research
Ethics, 3 (2), 53-68.
Apr 1
Healing Dialogues
and Focusing on
Resiliency: Healing
Western Culture
Fleming, J. & Ledogar, RJ. (2008). Resilience, an evolving concept:
a review of literature relevant to Aboriginal research. Pimatisiwin,
6 (2): 7-23. Available from
and Health Crises
Riechen, T., Scott. T., Tanaka, M. (2006). Community and Culture
as Foundations for Resilience: Participatory Health Research with
First Nations Student Filmakers. Journal of Aboriginal Health, 3
(1). Available from
Obomsawin, R. (1983). Traditional lifestyles and freedom from
the dark seas of disease. Community Development Journal, 18 (2):
Apr 8
Moving Forward:
Potential Solutions
Fleming, J., & Ledogar, RJ. (2008). Resilience and Indigenous
spirituality: a literature review. Pimatisiwin, 6 (2): 47-64.
Walters, KL & Simoni, JM (2002). Reconceptualizing Native
women’s health: an ‘indigenist’ stress-coping model. American
Journal of Public Health, 92 (4): 520-524.
Apr 11
The instructor and university reserve the right to modify elements of the course during the term.
The university may change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances.
If either type of modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the
students will be given with explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. It is the
responsibility of the student to check his/her McMaster email and course websites weekly during the
term and to note any changes.