Medicine that Walks: Disease, Medicine, and Canadian Plains Native People, 1880-1940 - Heritage (Paperback)Maureen K. Lux (author)
Paperback 288 Pages / Published: 01/06/2001
- Publisher out of stock
In this seminal work, Maureen Lux takes issue with the 'biological invasion' theory of the impact of disease on Plains Aboriginal people. She challenges the view that Aboriginal medicine was helpless to deal with the diseases brought by European newcomers and that Aboriginal people therefore surrendered their spirituality to Christianity. Biological invasion, Lux argues, was accompanied by military, cultural, and economic invasions, which, combined with the loss of the bison herds and forced settlement on reserves, led to population decline. The diseases killing the Plains people were not contagious epidemics but the grinding diseases of poverty, malnutrition, and overcrowding. "Medicine That Walks" provides a grim social history of medicine over the turn of the century. It traces the relationship between the ill and the well, from the 1880s when Aboriginal people were perceived as a vanishing race doomed to extinction, to the 1940s when they came to be seen as a disease menace to the Canadian public. Drawing on archival material, ethnography, archaeology, epidemiology, ethnobotany, and oral histories, Lux describes how bureaucrats, missionaries, and particularly physicians explained the high death rates and continued ill health of the Plains people in the quasi-scientific language of racial evolution that inferred the survival of the fittest. The Plains people's poverty and ill health were seen as both an inevitable stage in the struggle for 'civilization' and as further evidence that assimilation was the only path to good health. The people lived and coped with a cruel set of circumstances, but they survived, in large part because they consistently demanded a role in their own health and recovery. Painstakingly researched and convincingly argued, this work will change our understanding of a significant era in western Canadian history. Winner of the 2001 Clio Award, Prairies Region, presented by the Canadian Historical Association, and the 2002 Jason A. Hannah Medal
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 420 g
Dimensions: 229 x 154 x 20 mm
You may also be interested in...
Please sign in to write a review
Simply reserve online and pay at the counter when you collect. Available in shop from just two hours, subject to availability.
Thank you for your reservation
Your order is now being processed and we have sent a confirmation email to you at
When will my order be ready to collect?
Following the initial email, you will be contacted by the shop to confirm that your item is available for collection.
Call us on or send us an email at
Unfortunately there has been a problem with your order
Please try again or alternatively you can contact your chosen shop on or send us an email at