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 Featured Title
Taking Medicine
Women's Healing Work and Colonial Contact in Southern Alberta, 1880-1930
Kristin Burnett  

$87.00 Hardcover
Release Date: 10/28/2010
ISBN: 9780774818285    

$34.95 Paperback
Release Date: 7/1/2011
ISBN: 9780774818292    

248 Pages

Women and Indigenous Studies series


About the Book

The buffalo hunter, the medicine man, and the missionary continue to dominate the history of the North American west, even though historians have recognized women’s role as both colonizer and colonized since the 1980s.

Kristin Burnett helps to correct this imbalance by investigating the convergence of Aboriginal and settler therapeutic regimes in southern Alberta from the perspective of women. Although the imperial eye focused on medicine men, women in Treaty 7 nations -- Siksika, Kainai, Piikani, Tsuu T’ina, and Nakoda -- played important roles as healers and caregivers, and the knowledge and healing work of both Aboriginal and settler women brought them into contact. As white settlement increased and the colonial regime hardened, however, healing encounters in domestic spaces gave way to more formal, one-sided interactions in settler-run hospitals and nursing stations.

Taking Medicine presents colonial medicine and nursing as a gendered phenomenon that had particular meanings for Aboriginal and settler women who dealt with one another over bodily matters. By bringing to light women’s contributions to the development of health care in southern Alberta between 1880 and 1930, this book challenges traditional understandings of colonial medicine and nursing in the contact zone.

About the Author(s)

Kristin Burnett is a member of the Department of History at Lakehead University.

Table of Contents


1 Niitsitapi: The Northwestern Plains

2 Setting the Stage: Engendering the Therapeutic Culture of the Siksika, Kainai, Piikani, Tsuu T’ina, and Nakoda

3 Giving Birth: Women’s Health Work and Western Settlement, 1850-1900

4 Converging Therapeutic Systems: Encounters between Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Women, 1870s-90s

5 Laying the Foundation: The Work of Nurses, Nursing Sisters, and Female Attendants on Reserves, 1890-1915

6 Taking over the System: Graduate Nurses, Nursing Sisters, Female Attendants, and Indian Health Services, 1915-30

7 The Snake and the Butterfly: Midwifery and Birth Control, 1900s-30s






Sample Chapter

Front Matter and Chapter One

Related Topics

History > Canada
Women's Studies
Aboriginal Studies

Other Ways To Order

In Canada, order your copy of Taking Medicine from UTP Distribution at:

UTP Distribution
5201 Dufferin Street
Toronto, Ontario
M3H 5T8

Phone orders: 1(800)565-9523 or (416)667-7791
Fax orders: 1(800)221-9985 or (416)667-7832

Ordering information for customers outside Canada

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