Healing Through Indigenous Practices
Have you ever considered how incorporating Indigenous worldviews and healing practices into mainstream mental health services could create a more inclusive and effective approach to healing? It’s a topic that we should all be talking about.
Indigenous peoples have used traditional healing practices for centuries, focusing on the whole person’s physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. By including these practices in mainstream mental health services, we could see a shift towards a more holistic approach to treatment. This approach recognizes the individual’s cultural background and identity, not just their symptoms, and can help to promote healing and reconciliation.
Recently, our organization had the privilege of hosting a healing pouch workshop facilitated by Metis Elder Carol Fraser. Elder Carol integrated Indigenous traditions and practices, including smudging, a sacred ceremony used to clear negative energy and promote positive energy. She spoke about the history of treaties and their impacts on Indigenous peoples, highlighting the ongoing struggles and systemic barriers they face in Canada.
During the workshop, we provided Bannock from an Indigenous-owned business, showcasing the importance of supporting Indigenous entrepreneurship and economic development. The workshop provided a safe and supportive environment for Indigenous clients and staff to connect with their cultural traditions and for the non-Indigenous clients and staff to learn and witness. Making healing pouches was a tangible representation of Indigenous traditions and culture and could be used for healing and protection.
By incorporating Indigenous knowledge and traditions into mainstream mental health services, we can promote healing and reconciliation and support the well-being of all individuals, regardless of their cultural background. It’s time to start the conversation and work towards a more inclusive and culturally responsive mental health system.
Integrating Indigenous knowledge and traditions into mainstream mental health services is also essential in responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. The TRC’s Calls to Action urge non-Indigenous organizations to engage in education and awareness initiatives promoting reconciliation, including developing programs incorporating Indigenous knowledge and teachings. By incorporating Indigenous worldviews and healing practices into mainstream mental health services, service providers are promoting healing and well-being and recognizing and respecting Indigenous cultures and traditions.
Furthermore, the TRC’s Calls to Action highlight the need to address systemic racism and discrimination against Indigenous peoples in Canada. Incorporating Indigenous knowledge and traditions into mainstream services is a way to recognize and address the historical and ongoing harm caused by colonialism and forced assimilation. By creating a more inclusive and culturally responsive approach to mental health services, we can begin to bridge the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, promote healing and reconciliation, and work towards a more just and equitable future for all.
Our organization is committed to incorporating Indigenous knowledge into our mental health services. We believe this is an essential step towards creating a more just and equitable society, and we encourage others to join us in this important work. By working together and incorporating Indigenous worldviews and practices, we can create a more inclusive and effective approach to healing for all individuals.