Indigenous Life Stories as Narratives of Health and Resistance: A Dialogical Narrative Analysis

Bodil Hansen Blix, Torunn Hamran, Hans Ketil Normann

Abstract


The Sami people have historically been exposed to severe assimilation processes. The objective of this study was to explore elderly Samis' experiences of health. A total of 19 elderly Sami individuals in Norway were interviewed. This article is a dialogical narrative analysis of the life stories of 3 Sami women. The life stories are perceived as narratives of health and resistance. Postcolonial theory provides a framework for understanding the impact of historical and socioeconomic factors in people's lives and health. Narratives of resistance demonstrate that people are not passive victims of the legacy of colonialism. Resistance is not a passive state but an active process, as is health. Resistance is a resource that should be appreciated by health services, both at a systemic level - for example, through partnership with Indigenous elderly in the planning and shaping of services - and in individual encounters between patients and healthcare providers.

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