Indigenous Children’s Health Report: Health Assessment in Action

The focus of the Indigenous Children’s Health Report is First Nations, Inuit and Métis children’s health status and assessment in Canada (ages birth to twelve years). There are also chapters on Indigenous children’s health status and assessment for Australia, New Zealand and the United States. Our hope is that this report will be used as both a reference and advocacy tool by key Indigenous children’s health stakeholders in Canada and abroad.

The report includes not only information describing what we know about the health of Indigenous children and how we know this, but also best practices on how health assessment information can be applied to improve the health of Indigenous children. Critical to the resolution of Indigenous child health disparities is not only the generation of health information, but also the application of this information to health policies, programs and services.

This is a Well Living House report.

Key findings:

The report documents striking Indigenous/non-Indigenous health status disparities in all four countries. Common health status disparities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous children found in all four countries include:

  • Infant mortality rates that are 1.7 to 4 times higher than those of non-Indigenous infants
  • Higher rates of sudden infant death syndrome
  • Higher rates of child injury, accidental death, and suicide
  • Higher rates of ear infections
  • A disproportionate burden of respiratory tract illness and mortality
  • A disproportionate burden of dental caries
  • Increased exposure to environmental contaminants, including tobacco smoke

In addition to detailing health status inequities, the authors locate the roots of Indigenous child health disparities in colonization; document differential access to healthcare, economic and social resources; and share successful strategies for change.