Abstract

The objective of this study was to explore, as an example of structural racism, the effects of residential school and boarding school on the self-perceived health of Indigenous peoples’ in Canada and Finland. Structured interviews were conducted at Six Nations of the Grand River and Inari municipality. The individual and intergenerational negative effects included themes of vulnerability (language and cultural loss, fractured identity, and negative self-worth), and resilience (Indigenous identity, language and cultural renewal). Indigenous identity, culture, and language are intertwined and key determinants of health. Further studies about structural racism and a strong Indigenous identity as a protective factor may provide valuable insight into health disparities.

Acknowledgments

We would like to acknowledge Six Nations Council, the Six Nations ethics committee, and the community members at Six Nations who participated in the study in Canada and SámiSoster (NGO), Sámediggi, and the participants from Inari municipality in Finland. And to Anne Miesperä for conducting and transcribing the Finland interviews and Matti Luonua for translating the Finnish data to English.

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