Wisdom Engaged

Wisdom Engaged
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Traditional Knowledge for Northern Community Well-Being
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Leslie Main Johnson
3, Patterns of Northern Traditional Healing Series
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Collaboration between traditional knowledge and Western bio-medicine aims to improve health care in Northern communities.
"I listened to my mum, my dad, my gramma, that is why I am still here. That is how you stay alive." —Mida Donnessey
Wisdom Engaged demonstrates how traditional knowledge, Indigenous approaches to healing, and the insights of Western bio-medicine can complement each other when all voices are heard in a collaborative effort to address changes to Indigenous communities’ well-being. In this collection, voices of Elders, healers, physicians, and scholars are gathered in an attempt to find viable ways to move forward while facing new challenges. Bringing these varied voices together provides a critical conversation about the nature of medicine; a demonstration of ethical commitment; and an example of building successful community relationships.

Contributors: Alestine Andre, Janelle Marie Baker, Robert Beaulieu, Della M. Cheney, Stakawas, Katsawa, Mida Donnessey, Mabel English, Christopher Fletcher, Fort McKay Berry Group, Annie B. Gordon, Celina Harpe-Cooper, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Leslie Main Johnson, Thea Luig, Art Mathews, Sim’oogit T’enim Gyet, Linda G. McDonald, Ruby E. Morgan, Bernice Neyelle, Morris Neyelle, Keiichi Omura, Mary Teya, Nancy J. Turner, Walter Vanast, Darlene Vegh.
Acknowledgements xi
i Contexts and Holistic Approaches to Northern Community Well-Being
1 Traditional Knowledge, Healing, and Wellness 3
An Introduction
Leslie Main Johnson
2 Making and Taking Medicine 21
Indigenous and Western Therapeutics in an Early Contact Eastern
Mackenzie Delta Society, 1858-1920
Walter Vanast
3 Illness and Power in Times of Contact 51
Gitxsan and Witsuwit’en Narratives of Healing
Leslie Main Johnson
4 "Our Food Is Our Medicine” 85
Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Plant Foods for Health and Well-Being
in the Canadian North and Alaska
Nancy J. Turner
5 Cranberries Are Medicine 117
Monitoring, Sharing, and Consuming Cranberries in Fort McKay
Janelle Marie Baker and the Fort McKay Berry Group
6 Huckleberries, Food Sovereignty, Cumulative Impact, and Community Health 143
Reflections from Northern British Columbia, Canada
Leslie Main Johnson, Darlene Vegh, and Ruby E. Morgan
7 Conditions for Well-Being 175
Sustainatibily of an Inuit Subsistence System in a Globalized World
Keiichi Omura
8 Inuvialuit Nautchiangit, Relationships between People and Plants 201
A Project to Document Traditional Plant Knowledge
Inuvialuit Regional Corporation
9 Community Context, Research Methods, and Cultural Ethics in the Plants for Life Project, Délı̨ne ̨ 207
Christopher Fletcher
10 Life Transformation and Volunteerism in Teetł’itZheh 229
Pathway to Community Well-Being
Thea Luig
ii Northern Community Voices on Wellness
11 Sip’xw Hligetdin 249
Demonstrating the Strength, Education, Readiness, and Responsibility to Speak in the Feasthall
Art Mathews, Sim’oogit T’enim Gyet
12 Seaweed Harvesting and My Uncle’s Stories 263
Della M. Cheney, Stakawas, Katsawa
13 Life at Moose Lake 275
Traditional Life in Fort McKay Territory and the Impacts of Oil Sands Mining
Celina Harpe-Cooper
14 Health Is Living Well According to Kaska Values 289
Kaska Women’s Words
Linda G. McDonald and Mida Donnessey
15 Wisdom for Well-Being 307
Gwich’in Elders’ Teachings
Mary Teya, Annie B. Gordon, Mabel English, and Alestine Andre
16 Healing and Spiritual Knowledge of Délı̨ne and Plants for Life 341
Morris Neyelle and Bernice Neyelle
17 Words of a Traditional Healer from Fort Resolution, Northwest Territories 361
Robert Beaulieu
18 Pathways and Choices 379
Concluding Words
Leslie Main Johnson
Contributors 395

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