Delegates urge action on indigenous health
Health outcomes lag despite years of research
YELLOWKNIFE — Faced with fall-out from colonialism, climate change and a growing global economic crisis, indigenous health researchers say the International Union for Circumpolar Health should pay more attention to the needs and concerns of indigenous people in the region.
“The health status of indigenous peoples in many circumpolar countries remains far below that of their fellow citizens despite years of research and health care advancements,” says a July 15 statement from the indigenous peoples working group, which met last week during the International Congress on Circumplar Health in Yellowknife.
Members of the working group noted that numerous presentations at the conference confirmed that climate change is further damaging the health and lifestyle of the indigenous peoples of the North and they want to see more accessible and culturally appropriate health services.
They asked other members of the national health societies which belong to the IUCH to develop ethical principles and guidelines so indigenous peoples have more input into research and control over results.
They also asked for a annual report card on the health of indigenous peoples in the circumpolar world, which would give an update on living and environmental conditions, health status and delivery of health services.
They also want to see the re-establishment of the Arctic desk at the World Health Organization.