Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Geography & Environmental Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Jody Decker

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


In the Baffin Region, and other regions of the Canadian Arctic, geographic impediments and the history of southern-based health care delivery have influenced the present health care delivery and service. This is especially the case for obstetrical care since the whole process of childbirth has been transformed into a medical issue administered mainly by southern, non-Inuit health care workers and policy makers. Using 350 maternal and infant health records from the Baffin Regional Hospitals from September 1993 to September 1994, variables such as maternal age, fertility rates and low birth weight rates were calculated for communities in the region to assess the 'uniqueness' of the region, at the community and pan-regional level. Qualitative data were collected in Pond Inlet, a community on Baffin Island. The remoteness of the Baffin Region in terms of localized, isolated communities, small population bases and distances from tertiary services are factors in the development of obstetrical services for Baffin Region Inuit. To increase the alternatives for obstetrical care, several geographic factors have to be considered. The importance of place and birth and the availability of local human resources to deliver services in the communities are integral factors regarding the future of obstetrical services in the Baffin Region.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season