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Disease and the Nature of Canada Hackett, Paul


Webcast sponsored by the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and hosted by Green College. Reflecting the harsh climate, thin soils and generally forbidding character of the vast northern territory that is Canada, it has often been said that the history of this country is inescapably environmental. This lecture series engages the great drama of human interaction with this challenging realm, reflecting on the transformation of the northern half of the continent through time as a foundation for sensible engagement with the environmental challenges facing Canadian society in the twenty-first century.Each lecture will address one of three central themes – human activities and Canadian nature; nature’s influence on the nature of Canada; and ideas and nature in Canada – and reflect upon how the subject of the lecture has affected/changed “the nature of Canada”. Dr. Hackett is interested in the historical and geographical patterns of the health of western Canada’s First Nations. His graduate research examined the past diffusion of directly-transmitted, acute infectious diseases, leading to the publication in 2002 of his book, A Very Remarkable Sickness. His CIHR-funded postdoctoral research focussed on the changing public health of the Island Lake First Nations of northern Manitoba during the twentieth century. His current CIHR-supported research investigates the history of tuberculosis among the western First Nations. In keeping with his focus on the impact of cultural change on community health, an upcoming project will examine the factors that helped set the stage for the current epidemic of Type 2 diabetes among First Nations in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

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