The sharing of traditional aboriginal knowledge of pipe carriers from Winnipeg, Manitoba and the implications for the health of Aboriginal Peoples living in urban centers
Sander, Jean Marie
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Aboriginal peoples are part of the history and culture of Canada. The history is a tragedy as the Europeans exerted control of the land, resources and Aboriginal peoples themselves. The years of control, oppression and assimilation have caused historical trauma, scarring generations of Aboriginal peoples in physical, emotional, mental and spiritual ways. In spite of the trauma, the literature suggests that Aboriginal traditions are being passed on to future generations. Traditionally, the knowledge and traditions of Aboriginal cultures have been passed on through stories and experiences. This indigenous knowledge is part of the collective wisdom and culture of our world. It is important to ensure the knowledge is being passed on to ensure Aboriginal cultures thrive and the diversity of the world continues (Davis 2009). This thesis explores the dynamics of the passing on of the traditional Aboriginal teachings in an urban setting. Specifically, it explores the role of Pipe Carriers, how they acquired their knowledge and how they are passing it on to the next generation. This information is discussed in the context of the history of colonization and the health care needs of Aboriginal peoples today. This study is important as it builds on previous research that has documented the intricacies of the Aboriginal cultures and the impact of colonization on Aboriginal peoples. Previous research has also documented the disparity between the health of the general population and Aboriginal peoples, the inability of the health care system to meet the needs of Aboriginal peoples, and the growing percentage of Aboriginal peoples in Winnipeg. The existing literature on these topics, combined with the lack of literature on the role of Pipe Carriers as traditional healers, provide the justification for this study.
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