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First Nations Health

Part 1: Cultural Determinants of Health and Well Being for First Nations People Self-determination and leadership

The concept of health as well as wellbeing is quite complex. There is no proper definition of health across any culture. Researchers, practitioners and policymakers have been trying to understand the concept of mental and physical health. The First Nation people don't consider health as just the physical wellbeing of an individual. For the aboriginals, health indicates at the social, emotional, and cultural wellbeing combining for the entire community. Aboriginals consider health is related to their entire life. The First Nation People believes that the health care services should be such that any individual must have the achievable ability for determining complete human potential, who in turn must bring in wellness to the community (Hunt, 2018).

Culture can be thought of as a combination of shared values, principles, practices and customs and traditions for most of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. The concept of self-determination and leadership has a considerable impact on the lives of the First Nation people mostly because culture and traditions play a vital role in their community and lives. Self-determination is followed by the aboriginals to ensure the proper decolonization of health. Aboriginals follow the basic principle of self-determination to pave a way for better and improved health and wellbeing of the people (Auger, Howell & Gomes, 2016). A research made by some Native American communities found that the suicidal rates are lowest in case of aboriginals with the most control and strong self-determination.

Leadership and community control, being the two most vital components of self-determination plays a huge role in the overall well being of the community. Many commentators noticed that the leadership of the First Nation People were critical and they had successful outcomes in not just health but in education and governance as well. It is said that success in a particular community can be retained only if the right person is taking care of community leadership. Researches have shown that communities with local leaders who incorporated changes have been of great benefit to the community as a whole. Leadership is not about having elders but even young ones who can drive changes in society. Aboriginals don't classify elders based on the age. Rather, people who show concern for others along with leadership skills are considered as elders. Another research by VicHealth concluded that the concept of leadership is critical for the long term survival and growth of the community (Mazel, 2016).

Part 2: Identify and describe how aspects of your own cultural identity influence your personal health beliefs.

Culture is one of the detrimental characteristics in determining health care. Culture and communication are interdependent. It is seen that people of different cultures, religion and demographic might not react to a situation in the same way. While it is challenging to provide equal health services to this huge population, doctors and nurses take the utmost care in providing the best health care facilities. Often people deviate from undergoing treatments because of cultural and religious beliefs (Mazel, 2016).

As an individual, I believe healthcare is not just about the physical wellbeing but about mental health as well. Health cannot be restricted by time or situation. Doctors and physicians working in India take care of the social, environmental and psychological factors before treating a patient. It is taken better care in concerns of mental health. In situations where the physical manifestation is deep-rooted because of socio, economic factors treatment procedures get complex. I believe every health care facility should focus on other factors and not just the physical health of a person. A brief consultation with a doctor can help the patient know about the adverse effects that he or she might go through because of medications.

Irrespective of the inequalities and the imbalances in the health care facilities it is made sure that proper treatment is provided to all patients from any background. From basic health support to proper physical support and counselling is provided by doctors to help patients. I make sure that consulting a doctor includes a proper discussion on all the symptoms and syndromes that might be relevant to the disease. Being aware of any worse situation would help take the necessary precautions. Awareness is necessary for every individual. Good cultural practices and helping to spread awareness employing communication can be a great way to improve the health and wellbeing of an entire community (Gee et al. 2014).


Auger, M., Howell, T., & Gomes, T. (2016). Moving toward holistic wellness, empowerment and self-determination for Indigenous peoples in Canada: Can traditional Indigenous health care practices increase ownership over health and health care decisions?. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 107(4-5), e393-e398.

Gee, G., Dudgeon, P., Schultz, C., Hart, A., & Kelly, K. (2014). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social and emotional wellbeing. Working together: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and wellbeing principles and practice, 2, 55-68.

Hunt, S. (2018). Embodying self-determination: beyond the gender binary. Determinants of Indigenous Peoples’ Health, 22-39.

Mazel, O. (2016). Self-determination and the right to health: Australian aboriginal community controlled health services. Human Rights Law Review, 16(2), 323-355.

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