The Importance Of Indigenous People

1579 Words 6 Pages
If you are suffering with depression, what would you do in order to “heal” yourself? The typical Canadian would suggest going to the doctor and being prescribed anti-depressants. Canadians believe clinical medicine can heal almost anyone or anything with the proper resources and knowledge. What if we are wrong? What if participation in traditional ceremonies and healing practices are what can heal anyone or anything? There are many indications that Indigenous ways of healing are efficient and beneficial. This leads to the history of how the western society stripped them of their rights to follow these traditions, and how that may have had a great impact on Indigenous people’s health spiraling downhill. Indigenous people are strong believers …show more content…
Therefore Gottlieb, 1985 and Rook, 1984 conclude “tight-knot social networks such as family and close friends lead primarily to improve health”, whereas, Rook (1984, p. 1106) points out “negative social interaction can actually have more potent effects on well-being than can positive interactions” (Chantelle AM Richmond & Nancy A. Ross, 2008, Contextualizing Social Support, para. 3) Indigenous people are very traditional in their ways of believing their relationships within their communities, as well as outside their communities, are very influential in their health. They have six main social determinants of health which consist of balance, life control, education, material resources, social resources and environmental/cultural connections. Life control refers mental, physical, emotional and spiritual elements of a person; life control refers to an individual’s management of being able to take care of them. Education is defined as having access to cultural and environmental knowledge, and high-quality educational facilities that can promote health and cultural activities. Social resources refer to ability to acquire a job, in order to earn a salary to provide for themselves and families. Finally, environmental/cultural connections involve obtaining resources from the environment while …show more content…
Indigenous believe “smoking a cigarette will allow you to think a good thought or prayer, quiet your mind, and let you receive insight related your prayer” (Johnston, Laurance, 2012, Tobacco, para. 1).
Smudging is another ceremonial healing practice which usually uses the four sacred medicines. Cedar, sage, sweetgrass or tobacco is burned in an abalone shell, and they believe “the smell of the burning medicines stimulated the brain to produce beta-endorphins and promote healing processes”. (Johnston, Laurance, 2012, Smudge para.1) They commonly use cedar, which is said to drive out negative energy, or they will burn sweetgrass which invites positive, healing spirits.
Sweat lodges are mind, body and spirit purification, which can “promote healing at different levels by generating forgiveness, releasing bitterness, and busting apart the self-fulfilling belief pattern that is imprinted onto most patients after injury that they will never walk again”. (Johnston, Laurance, 2012, Ceremony, para.5). This ceremony is especially useful in establishing emotional causes of substance abuse such as drugs and alcohol. Substance abuse is a huge contributor of increasing mortality rates of Indigenous people, therefore participating in the sweat-lodge ceremony can help cleanse the spirits of those suffering from addiction, and help them find the root of their addiction problem.

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