Aboriginal peoples in Canada have diverse cultures but share common social and political challenges that have contributed to their experiences of health and illness. This collection addresses the origins of mental health and social problems and the emergence of culturally responsive approaches to services and health promotion. "Healing Traditions" is not a handbook of practice but a resource for thinking critically about current issues in the mental health of indigenous peoples.
The book is divided into four sections: an overview of the mental health of indigenous peoples; origins and representations of social suffering; transformations of identity and community; and traditional healing and mental health services. Cross-cutting themes include: the impact of colonialism, sedentarization, and forced assimilation; the importance of land for indigenous identity and an ecocentric self; notions of space and place as part of the cultural matrix of identity and experience; and processes of healing and spirituality as sources of resilience.
Offering a unique combination of mental health and socio-cultural perspectives, "Healing Traditions" will be useful to all concerned with the wellbeing of Aboriginal peoples including health professionals, community workers, planners and administrators, social scientists, educators, and students.