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2014-04-14 at 14:30

Diabetes, Northern Lights among topics at Aboriginal Student Science Fair

By Chase Kruger, for
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Misti Harding always wondered why Aboriginal people are more prone to getting diabetes.

So when the Grade 12 Dennis Franklin Cromarty high school student was tasked with putting together a science project, researching diabetes in the far North seemed like a perfect fit.

“It’s mostly because of the change in lifestyle” Harding said of her findings. “The Aboriginal people in the earlier days were hunting and fishing, they ate more traditional food . Nowadays they have a different lifestyle."

Less active lifestyles, combined with diets that features more processed foods and less of the traditional hunting and fishing are major contributors, Harding concluded.

To make matters worse, Harding learned that diabetes is also a hereditary disease. That means a child of someone who has diabetes is more likely to have diabetes themselves.

“It's kind of a common disease you always hear about that old people have” Harding said. “The fact that Aboriginals are more prone to getting diabetes than non-natives is something that people think about and wonder why that is."

Harding presented her research at the Aboriginal Student Science Fair at Confederation College last week.

The event allows Aboriginal students from across the region to present science projects on various topics.

For Jarden Visitor and Taylor Dalzell, the science fair was a chance to answer questions they had about the Northern Lights.

“Its a pretty heavy subject when you realize the science behind it all” said Visitor, a student from Corlancia high school in Pickle Lake. 

“A lot of amazement at the numbers and the scale of this.”

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