Book details

Publication date: July 2019
Features: 62 B&W photographs, 7 diagrams, 5 maps, notes, bibliography
Series: Patterns of Northern Traditional Healing Series
Keywords: Traditional Knowledge / Well-being / Health
Subject(s): SOCIAL SCIENCE / Indigenous Studies, Traditional Knowledge / Well-being / Health, MEDICAL / Healing, HISTORY / Native American, Traditional Knowledge / Well-being / Health, Complementary therapies, healing & health, History of the Americas, History of specific lands, Indigenous Studies, Oral History, Anthropology, Health and Medicine, Arctic, Social Sciences
Publisher(s): The University of Alberta Press
Leslie Main Johnson is Professor Emerita of Anthropology at Athabasca University. She is an ethnographer and ethnobiologist who has worked with Indigenous peoples in northwestern Canada since the 1980s.

"[Wisdom Engaged] gives compelling evidence that Indigenous health is fundamentally tied to land, language, and culture…. Wisdom Engaged shows that decolonisation means a return to Indigenous peoples of the power they once had over their own health and well-being. This is a crucial first step on the long road to reconciliation.”

Jeff Kochan, Canadian Dimension Magazine


"This text will be of value to novice readers seeking an entry point to learn more about indigenous traditional healing practices. Summing Up: Recommended."

S. Perreault, CHOICE Magazine


"Wisdom Engaged examines the different aspects of traditional knowledge and its usage in daily routines that support a healthy lifestyle… Readers will encounter rich evidence of the interconnectivity that Indigenous peoples’ well-being has with traditions, communities, and culture…. [Editor Leslie Main Johnson] accomplishes her goal: to center traditional knowledge in exploring methods to advance individual and community health as well as healing in northwestern North American Indigenous communities. All those interested in traditional knowledge, Western biomedicine, or Indigenous and environmental health should read this compelling book.”

Kathie Beebe, Native American and Indigenous Studies Journal, Spring 2022


“This superb volume focuses on “the role of traditional knowledge” in “healing and health” and “the interrelated web of traditions, culture, communities and wellbeing” among Indigenous communities in Northern Alberta, BC, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Alaska. Editor Leslie Johnson, a professor emerita of anthropology at Athabasca University, brings academics, elders and traditional healers together in a book highlighted by first-hand accounts such as that by Celina Harpe-Cooper, an elder in For McKay whose discussion of cranberry picking sharply reveals the local impacts of oil sands development.” AlbertaViews, July/Aug 2020

"These crucial studies provide a base of evidence for how people want to live rather than being dictated to by industrial interests in their homelands. They provide a rich vision of a lived environment."

Robert Wishart, Lecturer, Department of Anthropology, University of Aberdeen

Acknowledgements xi

i Contexts and Holistic Approaches to Northern Community Well-Being

1 Traditional Knowledge, Healing, and Wellness
An Introduction // Leslie Main Johnson

2 Making and Taking Medicine
Indigenous and Western Therapeutics in an Early Contact Eastern
Mackenzie Delta Society, 1858–1920 // Walter Vanast

3 Illness and Power in Times of Contact
Gitxsan and Witsuwit’en Narratives of Healing // Leslie Main Johnson

4 “Our Food Is Our Medicine”
Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Plant Foods for Health and Well-Being
in the Canadian North and Alaska // Nancy J. Turner

5 Cranberries Are Medicine
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
Reflections from Northern British Columbia, Canada // Leslie Main Johnson, Darlene Vegh, and Ruby E. Morgan

7 Conditions for Well-Being
Sustainatibily of an Inuit Subsistence System in a Globalized World // Keiichi Omura

8 Inuvialuit Nautchiangit, Relationships between People and Plants
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 // Christopher Fletcher

10 Life Transformation and Volunteerism in Teetł’itZheh
Pathway to Community Well-Being // Thea Luig

ii Northern Community Voices on Wellness

11 Sip’xw Hligetdin
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 // Della M. Cheney, Stakawas, Katsawa

13 Life at Moose Lake
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
Kaska Women’s Words // Linda G. McDonald and Mida Donnessey

15 Wisdom for Well-Being
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 // Morris Neyelle and Bernice Neyelle

17 Words of a Traditional Healer from Fort Resolution, Northwest Territories // Robert Beaulieu

18 Pathways and Choices
Concluding Words // Leslie Main Johnson

Contributors
ISBNs: 9781772124101 978-1-77212-410-1 Title: wisdom engaged ISBNs: 9781772124729 978-1-77212-472-9 Title: wisdom engaged ISBNs: 9781772124736 978-1-77212-473-6 Title: wisdom engaged ISBNs: 9781772124743 978-1-77212-474-3 Title: wisdom engaged