What is a whole and healthy person?
What do we need to BELIEVE to support our wellness through Indigenous culture?
Elders, Knowledge Keepers and frontline community workers share the following reflections on these questions:
- There is good in life (in the world)
- 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
- Every part of Creation has spirit and personhood which means we are related in a personal and purposeful way to all of Creation
- The Creator cares, therefore, we have a caring relationship with the source of life
- We are connected and are able to connect to our ancestors
A whole and healthy Indigenous person embraces and lives by the essential Indigenous values of life.
- 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 seeks wellness and well-being
- Has confidence in culture, values and traditions
- Has an innate and observable connection and good relationship with the land, Creation and to the spirit
- Has love of self
- Has respect for oneself and others
- Has a connection/respectful relationship to the future (new life/those yet unborn) and the past (Elders/ancestors) on the path-of-life continuum
- Has a preference for and fostering of an atmosphere and environment of inclusion, reciprocity, acceptance, trust and peace–For the Anishinabe, this can mean knowing that the Seven Grandfather teachings are within us:
Love, Respect, Humility, Bravery, Honesty, Truth, Wisdom
A whole and healthy person has a relationship with the Earth Mother, Creation, spirit and the ancestors, which means a connection to the heart and energy of healing, nurturing 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
A whole and healthy person has a relationship within an all-inclusive family of Creation that is personal, reciprocal, healing and strengthening of Indigenous identity.