Canadian Anthropology Society (CASCA)
Oral Presentation Session
Joseph Folco (Concordia University)
The Inuit of Canada have suffered from a plethora of governmental interventions including: relocations, residential schooling, and forced hospitalization due to the tuberculosis epidemic. The lives of those evacuated with tuberculosis and their communities were deeply impacted. The hospitalization of Inuit had a detrimental effect on individuals through physical and sexual abuse, forbidden cultural associations with language and history, and being removed from their families and communities. This relocation also had a social impact through collective suffering, particularly when Inuit Elders recount being forced to leave their communities and the difficulties and challenges of reintegration once discharged from Indian Hospitals. These government interventions are an example of structural violence that have impacted the Inuit community through individual and collective trauma and are recounted through personal narratives with Inuit Elders. The negative effects of trauma sponsored by the state and the serious repercussions Indian Hospitals have had on the mental and physical health of subsequent Inuit generations is presented. In addition, the ethical concerns of conducting anthropological fieldwork on trauma and memory are investigated and new potential approaches to methodology are proposed.