Postcolonial healing landscapes and mental health in a remote Indigenous community in subarctic Ontario, Canada

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Title: Postcolonial healing landscapes and mental health in a remote Indigenous community in subarctic Ontario, Canada
Authors: Marquina Márquez, Alfonso | Vírchez, Jorge | Ruiz-Callado, Raúl
Research Group/s: Población, Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo (POMADE) | Observatorio Sociológico de la Educación (OBSOEDU)
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Sociología I
Keywords: Mental health | Indigenous identity | Self | Therapeutic lanscape | Canadian subartic
Knowledge Area: Sociología
Issue Date: 4-Mar-2016
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Citation: Polar Geography. 2016. doi:10.1080/1088937X.2016.1155673
Abstract: The concept of therapeutic landscape is concerned with a holistic, socio-ecological model of health, but most studies have attempted to explore land-health links from a Western perspective. On an Indigenous reserve in Northern Ontario, part of the Canadian subarctic, we explore the importance of spaces and places in creating postcolonial therapeutic landscapes to treat the wounds inflicted by colonialism. The aim of this research is to gain insight from views and experiences of First Nations residents living on reservations that are undergoing a process of regaining traditional spiritual beliefs and teachings to construct therapeutic spaces to face mental health problems caused by legal opioid analgesic abuse. This qualitative study used semi-structured interviews with Cree and Ojibwe participants to understand how they are reconnecting with earth, spirituality and traditional animist beliefs on their way to recovery. We find that practices such as taking part in ceremonies and ritual spaces, and seeking knowledge and advice from Elders assist with personal healing and enable Indigenous people to be physically and mentally healthy. Our research findings provide important insights into the relationship between space, healing and culture as determinants of health and well-being and document some key factors that contribute to substance abuse recovery.
Sponsor: This work was supported by the Ministry of Education and Science (Spain) [I + D+i SEJ2005-09344/SOCI]; Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada) [I + D+i CURA/NORTHERN].
ISSN: 1088-937X (Print) | 1939-0513 (Online)
DOI: 10.1080/1088937X.2016.1155673
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © 2016 Taylor & Francis
Peer Review: si
Publisher version:
Appears in Collections:INV - POMADE - Artículos de Revistas
INV - OBSOEDU - Artículos de Revistas
INV - SOC-INNOVA - Artículos de Revistas

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