This article explores the impact of infant death on cultural perceptions of infancy. It employs a case study of the Cree-Ojibwa community of Fisher River, Manitoba in the early twentieth century to illustrate how a high risk of infant death can delay the point at which personhood is conferred on an infant. Further to this, the concept of infancy among the Aboriginal community is contrasted with wider Euro-Canadian values concerning the infant mortality rate. Differing cultural perceptions surrounding infant death provided the Canadian Government with rationale to contest Aboriginal autonomy over child welfare.
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JOURNAL OF PRENATAL AND PERINATAL PSYCHOLOGY AND HEALTH publishes research and clinical articles from the cutting edge of the science of prenatal and perinatal psychology and health. The journal, published quarterly since 1986, is dedicated to the in-depth exploration human reproduction and pregnancy and the mental and emotional development of the unborn and newborn child.