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Discourses and practices of isolation in the implementation of health care in Ste. Therese's Hospital, Chesterfield Inlet, 1929-1958

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(Thesis) M.A.
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This thesis examines the mid-twentieth-century implementation of health care in Canada?s Eastern Arctic by applying insights from a growing body of literature on space, medicine and colonialism to a specific case study, the history of Ste. Therese?s Hospital in Chesterfield Inlet (Igluligaarjuk) from 1929 to 1958. Using records from Oblate missionaries, biomedical doctors and government employees, I argue that non-Inuit discourses framed the hospital as both an isolated and an isolating space, distant from ?proper? health care conditions but still useful for separating bodies and diseases in familiar ways. In doing so, I argue that these discourses produced certain spatial relationships as either healthy or diseased, thus shaping medical practices in, around and through the hospital. This thesis identifies space as an important factor shaping health care provision, emphasizes the complexities of Northern colonial discourses, and negotiates the subtleties of isolation as a concept in Canadian Arctic medical history.
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