Infant Mortality and Cultural Concepts of Infancy: A Case Study from an Early Twentieth Century Aboriginal Community

Issue: 
Publication Date: 
05/1994
Page Count: 
15
Starting Page: 
259
Price: $10.00
Abstract: 

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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