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ERIC Number: EJ959950
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 20
ISSN: ISSN-1326-0111
Sensibility: A New Focus in Sami Health Care Education
Nymo, Randi
Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, v36 suppl p66-73 2007
Colonialism has had significant bodily impacts on Indigenous peoples through medicine. Excluded from the German race, Sami have been burdened by mainstream prejudices which perpetuate myths about Sami having poor genetic material and, as a consequence, having an inferior culture and language. This offensive burden and subsequent humiliation has particular implications for the Sami who come into contact with the health system as patients. Ethnic identity is connected with taboos, not only for patients, but also for Sami and non-Sami treaters. According to common knowledge Saminess should not be a theme. In spite of intense assimilation, many Sami understand illness as something caused of powers in nature or influenced by other people. The result can be a feeling of bodily chaos. Not understanding the meanings of the signs shown by the patients may bring health workers to interpret expressions of culture as signs of disease. Sami patients can be diagnosed as suffering from delusions. Sometimes they are visited by traditional healers in faith to restore bodily cosmos. What's more, the patient trying to hide her Sami origin can be considered as dishonest. Sensing this staff may discharge her from hospital earlier and spoil her chances to get proper treatment. Health educators have specific responsibilities to make students aware of the diversity of patient's culture and view of life. Within thought of body phenomenology the experiencing body is both subject and object. Messages are filtered by a cultural framework and the persons in interaction impact on each other. Face-to-face with the patients you can sense their vulnerability and decide to meet them as objects for your therapy activities or as individuals.
University of Queensland. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit, Brisbane, Queensland, 4072, Australia. Tel: +61-7-3365-1969; Fax: +61-7-3365-6855; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Finland; Norway; Russia; Sweden