"I listened to my mum, my dad, my gramma, that is why I am still here. That is how you stay alive." —Mida Donnessey
Wisdom Engaged demonstrates how traditional knowledge, Indigenous approaches to healing, and the insights of Western bio-medicine can complement each other when all voices are heard in a collaborative effort to address changes to Indigenous communities’ well-being. In this collection, voices of Elders, healers, physicians, and scholars are gathered in an attempt to find viable ways to move forward while facing new challenges. Bringing these varied voices together provides a critical conversation about the nature of medicine; a demonstration of ethical commitment; and an example of building successful community relationships.
Contributors: Alestine Andre, Janelle Marie Baker, Robert Beaulieu, Della M. Cheney, Stakawas, Katsawa, Mida Donnessey, Mabel English, Christopher Fletcher, Fort McKay Berry Group, Annie B. Gordon, Celina Harpe-Cooper, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Leslie Main Johnson, Thea Luig, Art Mathews, Sim’oogit T’enim Gyet, Linda G. McDonald, Ruby E. Morgan, Bernice Neyelle, Morris Neyelle, Keiichi Omura, Mary Teya, Nancy J. Turner, Walter Vanast, Darlene Vegh.
About the authors
Leslie Main Johnson is Associate Professor in the Centre for Work and Community Studies and the Centre for Integrated Studies, Athabasca University. Her research interests include ethnoecology, traditional knowledge, ethnobiology, subsistence, and concepts of health and healing among northwestern Canadian First Nations. She is a co-editor of Landscape Ethnoecology, Concepts of Physical and Biotic Space, with Eugene S. Hunn.
Morris Neyelle is a residential school survivor and a sub-chief on the Déline band council.
Nancy J. Turner is an ethnobotanist, and Distinguished Professor Emerita, School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria, Canada. She has worked with First Nations elders and cultural specialists in northwestern North America for over 50 years, helping to document, retain and promote their traditional knowledge of plants and environments, including Indigenous foods, materials and traditional medicines. Her two-volume book, Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge (July, 2014; McGill-Queen’s University Press), integrates her long term research. She has authored or co-authored/co-edited 30 other books, including: Plants of Haida Gwaii; The Earth’s Blanket; “Keeping It Living” (with Doug Deur); Saanich Ethnobotany (with Richard Hebda), and Food Plants of Coastal First Peoples, and over 150 book chapters and papers. Her latest edited book is Plants, People and Places: the Roles of Ethnobotany and Ethnoecology in Indigenous Peoples’ Land Rights in Canada and Beyond (2020). She has received a number of awards for her work, including membership in Order of British Columbia (1999) and the Order of Canada (2009), honorary degrees from University of British Columbia, University of Northern British Columbia and Vancouver Island and Simon Fraser Universities.
Earle H. Waugh is a professor of religious studies at the University of Alberta. He is the co-editor of Native Religious Traditions (WLU Press), and the author of The Munshidin of Egypt: Their World and Their Song and the Alberta Elders’ Cree Dictionary).
"[Wisdom Engaged] gives compelling evidence that Indigenous health is fundamentally tied to land, language, and culture…. Wisdom Engaged shows that decolonisation means a return to Indigenous peoples of the power they once had over their own health and well-being. This is a crucial first step on the long road to reconciliation.”
"This text will be of value to novice readers seeking an entry point to learn more about indigenous traditional healing practices. Summing Up: Recommended."
Other titles by Leslie Main Johnson
Other titles by Morris Neyelle
Other titles by Nancy J. Turner
Traditional Indigenous Foods, Materials and Medicines
Plants of Haida Gwaii
Plants, People, and Places
The Roles of Ethnobotany and Ethnoecology in Indigenous Peoples' Land Rights in Canada and Beyond
Plant Technology of the First Peoples of British Columbia
Food Plants of Coastal First Peoples
Food Plants of Interior First Peoples
Culturally Important Plants of the Wsáne? People
Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge
Ethnobotany and Ecological Wisdom of Indigenous Peoples of Northwestern North America
Keeping It Living
Traditions of Plant Use and Cultivation on Northwest Coast of North America
Edible Wild Fruits and Nuts of Canada
Other titles by Earle H. Waugh
Al Rashid Mosque
Building Canadian Muslim Communities
Idioms of Sámi Health and Healing
At the Interface of Culture and Medicine
Roger Vandersteene among the Cree
Visionaries of Silence
The Reformist Sufi Order of the Demirdashiya al-Khalwatiya in Cairo
Native Religious Traditions
Memory, Music, and Religion
Morocco's Mystical Chanters