A First Nations, Métis and Inuit Holistic Approach to Supporting Health & Wellness
“Indigenous people are healthier when their lives include traditional activities and values.” Dr. Cheryl Currie
Looking at wellness in schools as holistic or interconnected allows students and staff to realize their fullest potential physically, psychologically, socially and spiritually. First Nations, Métis and Inuit people highly value traditional knowledge that revolves around an integrative holistic model that seeks to balance the mind, body heart and spirit with community and environment. This traditional knowledge and understanding of holistic wellness benefits all staff and students universally.
The following resources are to help guide educators and students in becoming aware of the connection between mind, body, heart and spirit and how these elements work together to achieve an important balance in how they think, feel, act and live their lives.
Start to bring mindfulness, meditation and calm into your student’s life.
The term meditation refers to a broad variety of practices that includes techniques designed to promote relaxation, build internal energy or life force and develop compassion, love, patience, generosity, and forgiveness. Wikipedia
Eagle Feather Meditation
This meditation is a prayer meditation that uses the First Nations symbol of an Eagle Feather to promote healing and relaxation. This meditation assists with focusing on body awareness and allowing breathe to be used to help with relaxation.
The accompanying traditional music is provided by Adrian Lachance, a Cree First Nations who drums and sings to further promote healing and relaxation.
Sacred 4 Meditation
We will be using the number four which is a sacred number for First Nations People. It is the number of four directions, four seasons as well as mental, spiritual, physical and emotional self. This meditation uses body awareness as well as breathing to assist in releasing tension and stress and allowing a state of relaxation.
First Nations drumming is the background music. The drum is the heartbeat of of our people and is a sound that reminds us of our connection to Creator, Mother Earth and each other.
Native Counselling Services of Alberta’s mission is to promote the resilience of the Aboriginal individual and family, through programs and services that are grounded in reclaiming our interconnectedness, reconciliation of relationships and self-determination.
Other Supporting Resources
An Ever Active School initiative, this project builds upon the comprehensive school health work that is taking place in Kainai. The Photovoice Project shares the findings of the work and aims at inspiring other First Nation and Inuit communities to follow similar promising practices in building a healthy school community.