Living Well: Aboriginal Women, Cultural Identity and Wellness

This research project by an Aboriginal Women’s Health Research Committee, supported by Prairie Women’s Heath Centre of Excellence (PWHCE) was designed to advance the current understanding of the positive impact of cultural identity on the wellness of Aboriginal women in Manitoba. In addition, an additional objective was to extend understanding of the ways that Aboriginal women have sought to heal themselves and their families through cultural values, teachings and knowledge.

The study included a literature review of the current research followed by group discussions and individual interviews with the women in the study. The study concluded that the women in the study take care of their physical and emotional health by maintaining balance between all aspects of their lives, including the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. The approach is very reminiscent of the medicine wheel approach to holistic health. The findings concluded that the women’s identities are inseparable from their family, history, community, place and spirituality, and understood in the context of their whole lives. The approach/findings were reminiscent of Lee Brown’s ideas around the emotional health and the whole person.



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