A bit about me and how I chose my research topic:
A common theme in my life seems to be indecisiveness. In high school band, I learned the basics of three wind instruments because I always changed my mind. Growing up I was in swimming, skating, bowling, and Girl Guides. I never stuck with any activity long enough to excel in the area. I started university intending to be a psychology major. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out. After my second year, I had the idea to transfer to the University of Regina to pursue a different degree altogether. Less than half of my credits would transfer from Thompson Rivers to Regina, and so I stayed.
Now here I am, not a history major but an English major. My love for history was sparked in high school by one of my teachers. It didn’t occur to me until my third year to have a part, or any, of my degree focus on it, however.
In the first weeks of this semester, I still had the fall semester on my mind. I had taken a course on concentration camps and an idea struck me. I initially wanted to look at women in the camps, their health, and their sexuality. I changed my mind during a discussion I had with my mother. She has a history in health care and is half First Nations. She brought up the curiousness that is diabetes in Canadian Indigenous populations.
As I started looking into the subject a few things caught my attention and raised questions in my mind. I noticed how much of the research on Type II Diabetes Mellitus in First Nations is quite recent even though the disease has a long history. I also learned that First Nations women are at higher risk for developing diabetes.
I set out to answer a few question: Why are Type II Diabetes prevalence rates so high among First Nations people? Why are First Nations women at higher risk than men, especially when the opposite is true for non-Indigenous people? What connection, if any, is there between residential schools, colonization, and diabetes for Indigenous peoples of Canada?