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Dogs and People in Aboriginal Communities: Exploring the Relationship within the Context of the Social Determinants of Health

Senior, Kate, Chenhall, Richard, McRae-Williams, Eva, Daniels, Daphne and Rogers, Keith (2006). Dogs and People in Aboriginal Communities: Exploring the Relationship within the Context of the Social Determinants of Health. Environmental Health: The Journal of the Australian Institute of Environmental Health,6(4):39-46.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 10322xPUB9
Title Dogs and People in Aboriginal Communities: Exploring the Relationship within the Context of the Social Determinants of Health
Author Senior, Kate
Chenhall, Richard
McRae-Williams, Eva
Daniels, Daphne
Rogers, Keith
Journal Name Environmental Health: The Journal of the Australian Institute of Environmental Health
Publication Date 2006
Volume Number 6
Issue Number 4
ISSN 1832-3367   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Start Page 39
End Page 46
Total Pages 8
Place of Publication Australia
Publisher Environmental Health Australia, Inc.
Field of Research 0502 - Environmental Science and Management
0699 - Other Biological Sciences
1199 - Other Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract Aboriginal people and dogs have a very long association. The archaeological evidence suggests that the dingo, which was intentionally brought to Australia, was present from about 3500 years ago. Dogs introduced by European settlers quickly replaced or interbred with dingoes at Aboriginal settlements. The outsiders' view of Aboriginal dogs appears to be polarised into two distinct groups. Dogs are either described as a health risk and a reservoir for a range of diseases, or are glossed over as being sacred and ceremonially important. Neither view has really examined the complexity of Aboriginal relationships with the dog, or the fact that attitudes towards dogs might be variable from region to region, and that attitudes to dog and dog ownership are not culturally static. This paper provides a review of the anthropological literature concerning people's relationships with dogs and the perceived function of dogs in communities, supplemented by insights from research in South East Arnhem Land. It will then relate these findings to dog health and dog control programs and stress the importance of developing these within a community development framework.
Keywords Dogs
Aboriginal Australians
South East Arnhem Land
Relationships with dogs
Public health
Additional Notes This article has been extracted from Environmental Health: The Journal of the Australian Institute of Environmental Health, Vol.6, No.4, 2006.
Description for Link Link to published version
URL http://www.eh.org.au/documents/item/90


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