November 10, 2012 • Podcasts
Aboriginal Women’s Cultural Safety and Sexual Health
Transcription by Vidhya Elango
On this episode of the podcast, Robyn Spilker, Coordinator of the Women's Radio Collective at CFUV 101.9 FM in Victoria, B.C. interviews Charlotte Reading, an academic and Aboriginal women's sexual health advocate. Reading explains how the sexual health of Aboriginal women is compromised by the lack of cultural safety many experience when accessing public healthcare. Curious to hear what she has to say?
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Sarah Feldbloom: Hi, I’m Sarah Feldbloom, Shameless Magazine’s Web Producer. If you haven’t picked up a copy yet, our “health” issue is still on stands at your local bookstore, and available through subscription at shamelessmag.com and on the Shameless iphone app.
The focus of our podcast today is Aboriginal women’s sexual health. If you’re interested in learning more about the topic, one resource to take a look at is this issue’s Activist Report, written by Caitlin Blennerhassett with notes from Hilary Barlow. It features the Native Youth Sexual Health Network, an organization by and for indigenous youth, which was founded by Jessica Danforth when she was sixteen years old. There are a bunch of other great pieces in the current issue which relate to what we’re about to get into. I’ll tell you about one more, after we hear from Robyn Spilker, Coordinator of the Women’s Radio Collective at CFUV 101.9FM in Victoria, British Columbia, whose interviewing Charlotte Reading, an academic and Aboriginal women’s sexual health advocate on today’s show. So, here they are with no further adieu.
[Sound up on interview]
Robyn Spilker: Charlotte Reading is an Aboriginal health researcher who has extensive experience in areas of Aboriginal health disparities, human sexuality, and women’s health. She’s also an assistant professor with the University of Victoria’s School of Public Health and Social Policy. And right now she’s the Interim Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Health Research. I was lucky enough to get her in the studio to get her to talk about her research related to Aboriginal women’s sexual health, and the growing movement to implement practices of cultural safety within BC’s medical system.
Thanks for joining me today, Charlotte, to talk about your research relating to Aboriginal women’s sexual health and also your research related to cultural safety. How did you originally come to do this research?
Charlotte Reading: Well it really started in Halifax, when I was attending Dalhousie doing my Masters, and I got really interested in the medicalization of women’s sexual and reproductive health. And at the time, I was a mature student, so I decided that I would focus on menopause as one of women’s reproductive stages of their lives.
CR: And so, that’s really where it started. And the women that I interviewed were African, Nova Scotian women, and women of European descent, and also Aboriginal women. And during that research, the Aboriginal women said, you know, we really would like a study that just explores our experiences. And so I promised that if I did my doctoral degree that I would do that, and so my doctoral degree looked specifically at Aboriginal women’s experiences with menopause. And in that of course, sexuality, is, you know, a major component, because there’s lots of changes during women’s lives during that time.