Separate Beds: A History of Indian Hospitals in Canada, 1920s-1980s

By Maureen K. Lux

© 2016

Separate Beds 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.

A disturbing look at the dark side of the liberal welfare state, Separate Beds reveals a history of racism and negligence in health care for Canada’s First Nations that should never be forgotten.

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Product Details

  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 288 pages
  • Illustrations: 12
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.7in x 9.0in
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SKU# SP003493

  • PUBLISHED MAR 2016

    From: $24.71

    Regular Price: $32.95

    ISBN 9781442613867
  • PUBLISHED MAY 2016

    From: $24.71

    Regular Price: $32.95

Quick Overview

A disturbing look at the dark side of the liberal welfare state, Separate Beds reveals a history of racism and negligence in health care for Canada’s First Nations that should never be forgotten.

Separate Beds: A History of Indian Hospitals in Canada, 1920s-1980s

By Maureen K. Lux

© 2016

Separate Beds 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.

A disturbing look at the dark side of the liberal welfare state, Separate Beds reveals a history of racism and negligence in health care for Canada’s First Nations that should never be forgotten.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 288 pages
  • Illustrations: 12
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.7in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    ‘Lux’s detailed account will surely be of interest to scholars of Aboriginal history and health care as well as to the people interested in the development of Indian hospitals in Canada.’


    Joanne DeCosse
    Canada’s History October-November 2016

    "In painstaking research and matter-of-fact reportage, Associate Professor Lux of Brock University documents Canadian apartheid. Separate Beds: A History of Indian Hospitals In Canada is a riveting and extraordinary account of mistreatment of citizens."


    Tom Korski
    Blacklocks Reporter, Saturday, June 4, 2016

    ‘separate Beds is an important book. It tells a story not well known by Canadians, or even Canadian historians…. Lux’s book is a useful contribution to the history of colonialism in Canada.’


    Alison Norman
    Canadian Historical Review vol 98:03:2017

    ‘This is a must read for anyone interested in the history of Canadian Healthcare, Aboriginal health and treaty rights.’


    Velvet Maud
    The Canadian Journal of Native Studies vol 36:02:2016

    ‘It is a text best read in small doses to digest and internalize… Separate Beds is a compelling book that should be read widely to foster understanding of our shared histories.’


    Cheryl Susan McWatters
    Canadian Journal of History - vol 53:01:2018

    ‘Lux has written a must-read book for scholars of history, political science, and public policy.’


    Shay Sweeney
    Canadian Journal of Political Science vol 50:04:2017

    "Canada has a painful history of racially segregated hospitals that were intended to isolate and institutionalize Aboriginal people seen as a menace and danger to the nation. Separate Beds is a sophisticated, analytical, and lucid history of this neglected chapter of Canada's history and of the strength and resolve of Aboriginal communities to return to the management of their health care."


    Sarah Carter, Department of History and Classics and Faculty of Native Studies, University of Alberta

    "Lux's monumental work helps us understand more about the historical roots of the health care system we have inherited, one which is still influenced by racism, inequality and exclusion, but one that has changed over time and can thus change again."


    Mary Jane McCallum, Department of History, University of Winnipeg
  • Author Information

    Maureen K. Lux is an associate professor in the Department of History at Brock University.

  • Table of contents

    Chapter One: Making Indian Hospitals

    Chapter Two: Neither Law nor Treaty

    Chapter Three:  Everyone in Their Place: Labour in the Indian Hospitals

    Chapter Four: Life and Death in an Indian Hospital

    Chapter Five: Getting out of the Hospital Business

    Chapter Six: “The Government’s eyes were opened”: The Treaty Right to Health Care