Te Mauri - Pimatisiwin

Closing the health service gap: Métis women and solutions for culturally-safe health services

Renée Monchalin, Lisa Monchalin

Abstract

Métis peoples, while comprising over a third of the total Indigenous population in Canada, experience major gaps in health services that are culturally-safe. This is problematic given Métis peoples experience severe disparities in health determinants and outcomes compared to the non-Indigenous Canadian population. At the same time, Métis are unlikely to engage in health services that do not value their cultural identities, often utilising mainstream options.

Traditionally, Métis women were central to the health and well-being of their communities. However, due to decades of colonial legislation and land displacement, female narratives have been silenced, and Métis identities have been fractured. This has resulted in having direct implications on Métis peoples current health and access to health services. Solutions to filling the Métis health service gap may lie in the all too often unacknowledged or missing voices of Métis women.  Given these contexts, this commentary aims to generate critical discussion on the culturally-safe health care gap for Métis peoples in Canada. It does this by calling on policymakers, health care workers, and researchers alike to engage with Métis women regarding the health of Métis communities, and finding solutions towards identifying and implementing pathways to culturally-safe healthcare.

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