Indigenizing Wellbeing Assessment II: Energy Poverty in Remote Communities

  • Authors: Chloe Rickard and Lia Schulz
  • Faculty Supervisor: Maggie Low and Naoko Ellis 
  • Year: Fall 2021

The historically burdened relationship between Indigenous people and colonisers remains characterised by a hierarchical distribution of power (to the disadvantage of the Indigenous) and a lack of understanding between their distinct ways of living. As our societies continue to grow more interconnected and interdependent, inequalities between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous population groups become more apparent on a municipal, provincial, national, regional and international level. Considered as one of the world’s “most marginalised peoples”, Indigenous communities are confronted with political, social, economic and cultural isolation, giving rise to disadvantages that reinforce one another. Their far-reaching marginalisation is especially evident with regards to poverty and health, areas in which Indigenous populations consistently rank lower than the respective majority populations in different countries around the world. However, due to separate cultures, traditions, languages, knowledge systems and histories, including a fundamentally opposite experience of colonialism, the societally dominant and modern understanding of health does not suffice to capture the diverse influences exerted upon Indigenous people. In order to improve the Indigenous quality of life, it is therefore essential to better understand the Indigenous ways of life. This awareness has caused the necessity to study what constitutes Indigenous wellbeing in order to create alternative health care frameworks and implement policies aimed at overcoming these challenges.

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