Seeing as how it would be impractical to share the entire research paper here, I thought I would include the introduction and conclusion.
When considering the long history of Diabetes Mellitus it is a fairly recent disease for Indigenous people of Canada. By starting with the general history of diabetes, I hope to establish a comparison point for the disease as it occurs in First Nations people. From there I will discuss the link between obesity and diabetes, starting with a discussion of the occurrence Caucasian women and transitioning into discussing First Nations people. Following this, I will discuss data available on Inuit populations of the Northwest Territories. Unfortunately, there is not a substantial amount of data available for Métis people and because of that this paper will mainly focus on First Nations and Inuit people. From there, I will look at diabetes statistics that are available on all Canadians diagnosed with diabetes. Most studies on diabetes and obesity in Indigenous populations are relatively recent, having been conducted within the last fifty to sixty years. Though the focus is on Canadian First Nations, I will be doing a comparison to non-First Nations/Indigenous peoples when necessary. The colonization of Indigenous people of Canada has been detrimental to their health; enforcing a reservation system and assimilation on them has resulted in alarming rates of diabetes and obesity.
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In conclusion, it seems indisputable that colonization changed Indigenous health in Canada. Lifestyles along with diet were greatly altered as Europeans forced their way onto Indigenous land and Indigenous peoples onto reservations and into Residential Schools. Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, an old disease in the history of the world, is fairly new for Indigenous peoples. It seems most probable that the introduction of refined sugars, flour, and other processed foods, along with decreased physical activity due to an altered lifestyle, led to the high and rising rates of obesity and diabetes. Indigenous peoples were self-sufficient, active and relatively healthy compared to their lives post-colonization. Caucasians and other non-Indigenous populations have significantly lower prevalence rates of diabetes. Unfortunately, I have not found why it is First Nations women that have higher prevalence rates and not men. There is the possibility that it is tied to obesity and the type, android versus gynecoid, that First Nations women have.