African Journal of Gender and Women Studies

African Journal of Gender and Women Studies ISSN: 2736-1578, Vol. 7 (8), pp. 001-005, August, 2022. © International Scholars Journals


Traditional Indigenous healing in Canada: A synopsis of current practices and the necessity of future research 

Jonah W. Perlmutter1, Felix Walker BA2 and Marni C. Wiseman BSc, MD, FRCPC 3*

1University of Winnipeg Department of Biochemistry

2Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation (NCN) Family and Community Wellness Centre

*3Department of Medicine, University of Manitoba SKiNWISE DERMATOLOGY, 6-1170 Taylor Ave, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3M3Z4 Canada.

 Accepted 03 June, 2022


Inuit, Métis, and First Nations Peoples living in Canada experience, on average, disproportionately poorer health outcomes than non-Indigenous Canadians. The intergenerational consequences of residential schools, established with the purpose of forcefully assimilating Indigenous children into Euro-Canadian culture, are likely one factor behind this inequity. Education amongst clinicians regarding traditional Indigenous healing practices and its implementation in conjunction with Western medicine are integral to confronting this systematic injustice. Indigenous healers view life as a homeostatic, holistic balance between the spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical wellbeings. The holistic approach to healing consists of facilitating healing circles, sweat lodge ceremonies, and the use of traditional medicines amongst other practices. Implementation of traditional ceremonies in accordance with modern therapeutic interventions was found to improve health outcomes amongst Indigenous patients. Despite this, research regarding Indigenous healing practices is scarce and often ingrained with Eurocentric bias. In accordance with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s call to action, it is integral that Indigenous theories and practices of health and wellness be further researched and better incorporated into the literature and clinical practice.   

Key words: Traditional, Indigenous, healing, holistic, ceremonies, Canadian