Resources to support Indigenous reproductive health and justice in Toronto: A respondent-driven sampling study

Date created: 
Reproductive health
Maternal health
Sexual health
Reproductive justice

In Canada, the reproductive health and rights of Indigenous women, two-spirit, trans, and gender diverse people are threatened by the complex nature of historic and ongoing colonialism. In the face of widespread oppression, however, Indigenous women, two-spirit, trans, and gender diverse people find ways to achieve wellness. To provide novel statistical information about Indigenous reproductive health, this Master’s thesis takes a strengths-based approach to understanding causes of wellness in a cohort of urban Indigenous women, two-spirit, trans, and gender diverse people of reproductive age (n=323). Through a community-based research partnership with the Seventh Generation Midwives of Toronto and the Well Living House, this study uses secondary data collected with respondent-driven sampling (RDS) methods for the community-driven health survey Our Health Counts Toronto. By drawing on community perspectives and Indigenous reproductive justice theories, we hypothesized that four different resources enhance wellness: (1) relationship to land; (2) traditional foods; (3) cultural connectedness; and, (4) Indigenous programs and services. Logistic regression modelling revealed that relationships to land, traditional foods, and Indigenous programs and services were statistically significant to wellness. This study may aid policy makers and service providers in promoting equitable reproductive health care for Indigenous peoples in Toronto and other Canadian cities. Furthermore, this study demonstrates the applicability of critical Indigenous theories and activism to the fields of population health and epidemiology.

Document type: 
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
Senior supervisor: 
Nicole Berry
Scott Venners
Health Sciences: Faculty of Health Sciences
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.