Culture is healing

While Indigenous populations in Canada have higher risks of health problems, our usual treatments often focus solely on western medical approaches.

Experts say that cultural strategies proposed by Indigenous leaders that address the multi-faceted problems are effective but regularly ignored.


Dr. Christopher Mushquash (left) and Jon McGavock.

While cultural approaches are not a replacement for medicine, Dr. Christopher Mushquash, an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Lakehead University, and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and Clinical Psychologist at Dilico Anishinabek Family Care says working with communities to incorporate cultural strategies may be beneficial.

Jon McGavock, a professor of health sciences at the University of Manitoba says that scientific evidence shows what Indigenous leaders have known for years: culture is healing.

He says that understanding the connection between wellness and culture should help shape policy in order to get to the root of some health disparities In indigenous communities.

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Photos by Kylene Avendano


Dane Wanniarachige holds a Bachelor of Medical Science (Hon.) and Master of Journalism degree from the University of Western Ontario. He is presently a medical student at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. He has been a journalist intern for since June 2016.