AMS, in conjunction with The Royal Society of Canada, is pleased to announce the 2017 winner of the Jason A. Hannah Medal, Dr. Maureen Lux. This is the second win for Dr. Lux, who was awarded the Jason Hannah Medal in 2002 for book Medicine that Walks: Disease, Medicine, and Canadian Plains Native People, 1880–1940.
Dr. Lux’s 2016 book, Separate Beds: A history of Indian hospitals in Canada is the shocking story of Canada’s system of segregated health care. Operated by the same bureaucracy that was expanding health care opportunities for most Canadians, the “Indian Hospitals” were underfunded, understaffed, overcrowded, and rife with coercion and medical experimentation. Established to keep the Aboriginal tuberculosis population isolated, they became a means of ensuring that other Canadians need not share access to modern hospitals with Aboriginal patients.
Tracing the history of the system from its fragmentary origins to its gradual collapse, Maureen K. Lux describes the arbitrary and contradictory policies that governed the “Indian Hospitals,” the experiences of patients and staff, and the vital grassroots activism that pressed the federal government to acknowledge its treaty obligations.
Dr. Lux is an authority on the history of colonialism and its impact on Indigenous peoples’ health in 19th and 20th century Canada. Her research and publications on the intersection of medicine, race, and government healthcare policy are studied by scholars at home and abroad. AMS congratulates her on a terrific achievement.
The Jason A. Hannah medal was established to honour AMS founder, Dr. Jason A. Hannah, and to bring recognition to the work of Canadian research in the history of medicine. It is awarded every two years for an important Canadian publication in the history of medicine.