Health Research, Entitlements and Health Services for First Nations and Métis Women in Manitoba and Saskatchewan
Margaret J. Haworth-Brockman, BSc, Executive Director, Prairie Women’s Health Centre of Excellence
Kathy Bent, BA, MA, PhD Candidate, University of Manitoba and Research Associate, Prairie Women’s Health Centre of Excellence
Joanne Havelock, BA, MHA, Policy Analyst, Prairie Women’s Health Centre of Excellence
Since 1982, the term “Aboriginal” has been defined in the Canadian constitution as including Indian, Inuit and Métis peoples and has become part of the Canadian vocabulary. However, among the groups included in this term, there are significant differences in access to health care services based on treaty and historical entitlements and related government jurisdictions and policies. In spite of good intentions, research on Aboriginal women’s health can fall short when it fails to recognize differences in entitlements and health services available under the term “Aboriginal.” We explored the historical developments leading to current legal entitlements to health care services for First Nations and Métis women. We then interviewed service providers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan to investigate women’s access to health, including barriers created by differing entitlements to services and lack of understanding about services. We discuss why the differences in health service entitlements must be taken into account for health research.