Session 5


experiences that fuel anxiety

Indigenous perspectives

Indigenous Peoples have many beautiful traditions that bring rest and help them stay connected with loved ones who have passed. The passing of a parent is considered a significant loss that needs to be grieved at various stages across the lifespan. It is important to remember losses and to find ways to remember those who have crossed over to the other side.

One of the most beautiful aspects of Indigenous worldviews is the belief in and understanding of interconnectedness and oneness. Imagine what it’s like to grow up with an understanding that you are never alone. Most Indigenous cultures, including their rituals, ceremonies and rites of passage, revolve around taking care of their human and more-than-human relatives. What is most important is relationship, and Indigenous people are always striving to do their best at taking care of one another. This way of looking at the world is evident in the parenting practices of Indigenous Peoples.

Indigenous parenting practices did not include the kinds of behavioural and disciplinary strategies that are common in families and school environments today. The focus was more or less on supporting the holistic development of a whole, fully integrated person with a strong heart-mind connection and with purpose and passion. The ultimate goal was harmonious relations among human and more-than-human kin.

Research has shown that those responsible for youth living in care play a critical role in providing a sense of balance by ensuring that young people know their family and history. It is through this process that youth come to recognize their place and their responsibilities within the larger universe. Gaining traditional knowledges through kinship ties provides community, strength and cultural continuity that are preventive medicine for youth with anxiety.

Indigenous Peoples have many beautiful teachings about how to take good care of the body, mind and spirit that can offer ways of seeing and responding to anxious youth with respect and dignity. Drumming, singing, praying, going to the water, going for a forest bath, listening to stories, weaving, carving and other forms of art making are contemplative approaches to taking care of a busy mind and scattered attention.

Stories of reducing as medicine

'It's your path but you don't have to walk it alone.'

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