While responses to native addictions and mental issues are continued priorities, the overarching focus is to recognize the diasporic status of indigenous peoples, to improve native wellness, and to establish cross-cultural identity for all Canadians. Historical culture, ways of knowing and language support strength-based approaches, alongside which relational structures—elders, families, communities, creation—play essential roles in native whole health. A comprehensive Continuum Framework guides federal, provincial, and territorial stakeholder efforts toward native wellness, supported by engaging indigenous communities. Indigenous wellness balances the physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental quadrants of whole health. Balanced well-being is enriched by (i) purpose in individuals’ daily lives through education, employment, caregiving, and cultural ways of being and doing; (ii) hope for the future grounded in a sense of core identity, indigenous values, and spirit; (iii) a sense of belonging and connectedness with all relations and culture; and (iv) understanding and deriving meaning from individual, family, and community lives as part of creation and rich history. Indigenous philosophy can be understood and appreciated through the lenses of various Western theoretical approaches that are constructionist by design, whereby Canadians may get one step closer toward achieving a cross-cultural identity. This shared vision requires innovative leadership, sustained commitment, and effective partnerships.
Part of the book: Indigenous, Aboriginal, Fugitive and Ethnic Groups Around the Globe