Imagine a world in which people see themselves as embedded in the natural order, with ethical responsibilities not only toward each other, but also toward rocks, trees, water and all nature. Imagine seeing yourself not as a master of Creation, but as the most humble, dependent and vulnerable part.
Rupert Ross explores this indigenous world view and the determination of indigenous thinkers to restore it to full prominence today. He comes to understand that an appreciation of this perspective is vital to understanding the destructive forces of colonization. As a former Crown Attorney in northern Ontario, Ross witnessed many of these forces. He examines them here with a special focus on residential schools and their power to destabilize entire communities long after the last school has closed. With help from many indigenous authors, he explores their emerging conviction that healing is now better described as “decolonization therapy.” And the key to healing, they assert, is a return to the traditional indigenous world view.
The author of two previous bestsellers on indigenous themes, Dancing with a Ghost and Returning to the Teachings, Ross shares his continuing personal journey into traditional understanding with all of the confusion, delight and exhilaration of learning to see the world in a different way.
Ross sees the beginning of a vibrant future for indigenous people across Canada as they begin to restore their own definition of a “healthy person” and bring that indigenous wellness into being once again. Indigenous Healing is a hopeful book, not only for indigenous people, but for all others open to accepting some of their ancient lessons about who we might choose to be.
RUPERT ROSS is a retired assistant Crown Attorney for the District of Kenora, Ontario. Starting in 1985, he conducted criminal prosecutions for more than twenty remote Ojibway and Cree First Nations communities in northwestern Ontario. His first book, Dancing with a Ghost, started his exploration of aboriginal visions of existence and became a bestseller. His second book, Returning to the Teachings, was also a bestseller and examined the aboriginal preference for the “peacemaker justice” he observed during a three-year secondment with Justice Canada. Both books were shortlisted for the Gordon Montour Award for the best Canadian non-fiction book on social issues, and are presently used in universities and colleges across North America. Following his retirement, Ross was awarded the prestigious 2011 National Prosecution Award for Humanitarianism, and the Ontario Crown Attorneys Association has created an award named after him. He continues to live just north of Kenora with his wife, Val.