Throughout our work, we have asked the question what it means to be a whole and healthy person. What do we need to believe in order to support our own wellness through Indigenous culture? These are some of the answers we have collected.
- There is “good” in life (in the world) – mino-bimaudiziwin.
- There is a Creator at the source of life; so, there is purpose and meaning.
- The Creator cares, therefore, we have a caring relationship with the source of life.
- We have the attention, help and guidance from the Creator.
- Every part of Creation has spirit and personhood which means we are related in a personal and purposeful way to all of Creation. All of life is sacred.
- The Creator desired to be, to become, to enliven, to live; that is why he created – the same desire is inherent within us as human beings.
- We are predisposed to care and to share unconditionally.
- In all of life there is duality (spiritual and physical, heart and mind, etc.).
- In life there is the twin (opposite spirit); so, life is about making good choices.
- The ability to live a good life, a meaningful and purposeful life, is through the connection and interconnection of body, mind, heart and spirit.
- There is a spirit essence, an energy, that you can call up from inside yourself or from outside yourself for guidance, direction and for healing.
- We are able to personally connect to the spirit
- There is forever life; so, there is a continuous spiritual path of life from spirit to spirit again.
- We are connected to and are able to connect to our ancestors.
A Whole and Healthy Indigenous Person
- Embraces and lives by the essential Indigenous values of life (e.g. knowing that the Seven Grandfather teachings are within us)
- Zawgi’idiwin, Love
- Mawnawdjiwin, Respect
- Dubuhsaynimowin, Humility
- Zongidayaywin, Bravery
- Gwuyukawjiwin, Honesty
- Debwewin, Truth
- Gawdjigikayndumowin, Wisdom.
- Has belief and faith in the fundamental value and goodness of life and demonstrates this by expressing and actualizing it in behaviours and manner of living.
- Always seeking wellness and well-being
- Having confidence in culture, values and traditions
- Having an innate and observable connection and good relationship with the land, creation and to the spirit
- Love of self
- Respect for oneself and others
- Has a connection/respectful relationship to future and the past on the path-of-life continuum (respect/connection to new life/those yet unborn and elders/ancestors)
- Has a preference for and fostering of an atmosphere and environment of inclusion, reciprocity, acceptance, trust and peace
Relationship with the Earth Mother, Creation, Spirit and the ancestors, a whole and healthy Indigenous person is one who has a connection to the Earth, which means a connection to the heart and energy of healing, engendering a feeling of belonging, of being loved and a perception of one’s wholeness. This is felt in the following ways:
- Knowing you are never alone in the world.
- Feeling personally connected to the earth, anywhere, in our part of the world.
- Feeling of being lovingly bonded to the earth and that one’s spirit is tethered to the physical world.
- Comforting awareness that one can use energy from the earth to heal.
- Has a relationship within an all-inclusive family of Creation (as expressed in the concept All My Relations) that is personal, reciprocal, healing and strengthening of Anishinabe identity.