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Aboriginal Health &
Cultural Diversity Glossary

Aboriginal Glossary
 

 

B – Definitions

‘bad medicine’:
“Illness may be interpreted as a result of "bad medicine" (sorcery) or "wishing someone ill” (Reynolds, 1993; Garro, 1990; as cited in Reynolds Turton, 1997).
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band:
“A legal term that came that recognizes Aboriginal interest in the land. It is based on their longstanding use and occupancy of the land as descendants of the original inhabitants of Canada” (Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, 2000).

band:
“The primary social unit, the ‘band’ was relatively small, only consisting of 50 to one hundred people. When resources were plentiful, a number of these bands might temporarily join together into a large entity, the regional band, however during times of hardship, the band might break-up into its constituent parts, nuclear and extended families. Hence each family existed within a delicate balance, containing all the essential skills to exist, at least for short periods” (Waldram, Herring, & Young, 1995, p. 9).

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beaver felt hat:
“In 1604 as the beaver felt hat became a popular fashion item in Europe, the vast fur resources of the Canadian wilderness beckoned” (Waldram, Herring, & Young, 1995, p. 13).

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Bill C-31:
“Bill C-31, an Act to Amend the Indian Act was passed by Parliament on June 28, 1985. Bill C-31 brought the Act into line with the provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, bringing about important changes to Canada's Indian Act” (First Nation Information Project, 2003).

Bill C-31:
“The pre-legislation name of the 1985 Act to Amend the Indian Act. This act eliminated certain discriminatory provisions of the Indian Act, including the section that resulted in Indian women losing their Indian status when they married non-Indian men. Bill C-31 enabled people affected by the discriminatory provisions of the old Indian Act to apply to have their Indian status restored” (Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, 2000).
biological/genetic/physiological theories:
“Biological/genetic/physiological theories of Aboriginal substance abuse claim Indigenous people are bio-chemically prone to crave and lose control over alcohol and metabolize it at significantly slower rates” (Scott, 1994).

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biomedicine:
“Biomedicine, also called western medicine, is the medical system officially adopted by Canada, most of the western world, as well as the World Health Organization. Biomedicine generally defines diseases as a deviation from normal biological function and/or behavior (mental health). Biomedicine usually relies on a bio-mechanistic understanding of the body as a machine and ejects religious/supernatural explanations” (Woods, 2003).

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bloodletting:
“Bloodletting of various forms was common. Morice (1900-1) described a number of different approaches used among the Dene to treat such ailments as headaches, and general pains. His description of surgery of the temporal artery records a procedure that was likely fairly common: ‘This is slightly cut with as sharp as an instrument as can be procured, and the blood is allowed to escape until a rich red colour is has succeeded the dark hue of the first flow which is supposed to be the cause of the ailment. The wound is then compressed by the application of a piece of skin or a green leaf, according to the season the head is afterwards bandaged sop as to ensure the speedy healing of the wound. In general only a little blood is allowed to escape” (Waldram, Herring, & Young, 1995, p. 113-114).

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bone setting:
“Some Aboriginal groups had individuals with special skills in this area. Stone (1935: 82-83), has written that ‘their skill in the care of wounds fractures and dislocations has equalled and in some respects exceeded that of their white contemporary’. Typically fractures and bones were set and splinted with wood or tightly wrapped with reeds or other firm but flexible materials” (Waldram, Herring, & Young, 1995, p. 114).

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botulism:
“Botulism is a disease caused by the consumption of food contaminated by the toxin producing bacterium Clostridium botulinum” (Waldram, Herring, & Young, 1995, p. 79-80).

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British North American Act (BNA Act), 1867:
“BNA Act Constitution Act, 1867”.

British North American Act (BNA Act), 1867:
“The British North America Act of 1867 established the law-making powers of the federal government, Section 91(24) gave the federal government responsibility over "Indians and Lands reserved for Indians." Section 91(24) established the power of the federal government over aboriginal people and undermined the importance of the treaties” (Industry Canada, 2003).

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For the full references of works cited above, please see the Glossary References page >>

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