Indigenous Knowledge

The First Nations Centre is in the business of knowledge translation. In addition to the latest “Western” evidence, the Centre also incorporates Indigenous knowledge into its publications and initiatives. For example, the first episode of Radio NAHO shares what a hereditary chief and knowledge keeper of the Mi’kmaq culture, a PhD student studying intergenerational trauma, and a hip hop artist combining the Cree language with urban beats have to say about traditional healing.

Did you know culture is a determinant of health? Research has shown that culture has an impact on health. For example, culture can influence what lifestyle choices we make, how we interact with the healthcare system, and how we access information.

In First Nations cultures, health is conceptualized holistically–it is a balance between the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual realms of life. In some First Nations cultures, it is also a life that is lived according to the seven grandfather teachings of wisdom, love, respect, bravery, honesty, humility, and truth. The First Nations Centre is committed to the protection, recognition, and affirmation of indigenous knowledge and healing practices.

Featured Publications and Initiatives

In 2006, the FNC supported a traditional healing circle of Elders during a week-long ceremonial gathering on Mi’kmaq traditional territory of the Elsipogtog First Nation. The purpose of the circle was to identify and explore future directions for the FNC in the area of support and protection for indigenous knowledge. These two reports summarize the themes explored during this meeting as well as recommendations for future directions:

Additional publications:

Sacred Ways of Life: Traditional Knowledge Toolkit (2005)

Traditional medicine special issue of the Journal of Aboriginal Health  (2010)