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Aboriginal Health &
Cultural Diversity Glossary

E – Definitions

elder(s):
“Elders are known by many names in Aboriginal societies: the Old Ones, the Wise Ones, Grandmothers and Grandfathers and, in the Métis Nation, Senators. They are teachers, philosophers, linguists, historians, healers, judges, counselors - all these roles and more” (Royal Commission of Aboriginal Peoples, 1996, cited in Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, 2003).

elder(s):
“Elders are living embodiments of Aboriginal traditions and cultures. Through the Creator's gifts and their years of walking the earth, they have acquired knowledge and experience to live well and thrive in the physical world. They are in tune with the land, the cycles and rhythms of nature and life” (Royal Commission of Aboriginal Peoples, 1996, cited in Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, 2003).

elder(s):
“Elders are keepers of spiritual knowledge that has sustained people through thousands of years - knowledge of ceremonies and traditional activities, of laws and rules set down by the Creator to enable the people to live as a nation” (Royal Commission of Aboriginal Peoples, 1996, cited in Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, 2003).

elders:
“Among the Ojibwe people, the role models and repositories of authoritative knowledge (Jordan, 1992) are the elders (Reynolds Turton, 1997).

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elder abuse:
“This term is generally used to mean "the physical, psychosocial or financial mistreatment of a senior." The elderly are vulnerable because of frailty, poor health, and financial and emotional dependency. Neglect is commonly associated with abuse” (Elder Abuse, The National Clearinghouse on Family Violence, Health and Welfare Canada, 1990, as cited in Health Canada, 2003).

elderly: see senior

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elimination:
“The epidemiologic definition of ‘elimination’ is reduction of disease incidence in a population by 1 per million” (Health Canada, 2000).

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emigration:
“Mass departure, flight, migration, evacuation” (Thesaurus, 2003).
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employment equity: see equity
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empowerment:
“Empowerment is the participation of individual and communities in a social action process that targets both individual and community change outcomes” (Wallerstein, 1992, p. 202). “It is the process of increasing one’s ability to choose, and one’s capacity to define, analyze, and act upon one’s problems” (Kent, 1988). “Participation is the cornerstone of primary health care, health promotion and participatory action research (PAR). The premise is that community members must be active participants in the processes that are intended to improve their lives” (Bopp, 1994). “This includes initiatives that aimed at the individual, and the setting upon which their health and well-being depend” (Dickson, 1995, p. 645).

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endemic:
“Endemic is a term to describe levels of infection which do not exhibit wide fluctuations through time in a defined space. For micro parasites like measles, the term is used slightly differently to indicate an infection which can persist in a population in the long term without needing to be reintroduced from outside. Stable endemicity is where the incidence of infection or disease shows not secular trend for increase or decrease” (Woods, 2003).

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environment:
“Environment is all external factors affecting living things such as poverty, stress, age, presence of other disease or disability, changes in the weather, etc. (Harkness, 1995). Factors in th4e physical, biological and social environment that contribute to health related conditions” (Clark, 1996, p. 112).
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epidemic:
“Affecting or tending to affect a disproportionately large number of individuals within a population, community, or region at the same time, (typhoid was epidemic), word origin 1603” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 2003).

epidemic:
“Epidemics occur when the complex relationship between human populations and their social and physical environment is altered, disrupted, or conducive to the flourishing of micro-organisms” (Waldram, Herring, & Young, 1995, p. 43).

epidemic:
“Epidemic is a rapid increase in the levels of an infection. Typical of the microparasitic infections (with long lasting immunity and short generation times) an epidemic is usually heralded by an exponential rise in the number of cases in time and a subsequent decline as susceptible numbers are exhausted. Epidemics may rise from the introduction of a novel pathogen (or start to a previously unexposed (naïve) population or as a result of the regrowth of susceptible numbers some time after a previous epidemic due to the same infectious agent” (Woods, 2003).

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epidemiology:
“ The term epidemiology is derived from three Greek words: epi (upon), demos (the people) and logos, (thought or science) and ology meaning (study). The origin of epidemiology lies in the curiosity of human beings and the need to explain the unknown. In ancient times, men and women sought reasons for their illnesses and pursued those activities that were believed to be sources of good health” (Harkness, 1995, as cited in Clark, 1995).

epidemiology:
“ The study of the distribution and determinants of states of health and illness in human populations. A process based on scientific inquiry and recognition of multiple influencing factors, with the community as its laboratory and populations or groups of people as it subjects” (Harkness, 1995, as cited in Clark, 1995).

epidemiology:
“ Epidemiology is concerned with the distribution and determinants of health and disease, morbidity, injuries, disabilities and mortality in populations” (Woods, 2003).

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equity “pay” PE:
“ Pay Equity (PE) refers to the concept of equal pay for work of equal value, that is where jobs are similar in terms of such criteria as skill, effort, working conditions, and responsibility, the job should be similar” (University of Saskatchewan, Faculty Association, 2003).

equity “employment” EE:
“ Employment Equity (EE) focuses on hiring, permanent status or tenure, promotion, training, salary review, discipline procedures and other employment systems, to ensure that the workforce reflects the proportion of designated equity –seeking groups in the external labour market. At the University of Saskatchewan, the four equity seeking groups are women, Aboriginal peoples, visible minorities and disabled people” (University of Saskatchewan, Faculty Association, 2003).

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Eskimo:
“The term ‘Inuit’ replaces the term ‘Eskimo’” (Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1996, as cited in Browne & Smye, 2002).

Eskimo – Aleut:
(Waldram, Herring, & Young, 1995, p. 6).

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ethnocentric:
“Characterized by or based on the attitude that one's own group is superior, word origin 1900” (Merriam Webster Dictionary, 2003).

ethnocentrism:
“Ethnocentrism is the belief that one's own culture is superior to all others. This belief is common to all cultural groups, all groups regard their own culture as not only the best but also the correct, moral and only way of life” (American Nurses Association, 1991).

ethnographic:
“The study and systematic recording of human cultures; a descriptive work produced from such research” (Merriam Webster Dictionary, 2003).

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eugenic:
”Relating to or fitted for the production of good offspring; of or relating to eugenics; word origin 1883” (Merriam Webster Dictionary, 2003).

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extinguishment:
“To cause to cease burning; to bring to an end; make an end of hope for their safety was slowly extinguished; to reduce to silence or ineffectiveness; to cause extinction of (a conditioned response); to dim the brightness; to cause to be void” (Merriam Webster Dictionary, 2003).
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For the full references of works cited above, please see the Glossary References page >>

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