Humanizing Indigenous Peoples’ engagement in health care – CMAJ

Etuaptmumk, “Two-Eyed Seeing” in Mi ’kmaq, integrates the strengths of Indigenous and Western knowledge as a shared-learning process attributed to Albert Marshall, Mi’kmaw Elder of Mi’kma’ki, who developed this concept. Mi’kma’ki is the Mi’kmaw traditional territory in the Atlantic provinces, Gaspé and Maine.

Mi’kmaw perspectives for care originate from Mi’kmaw Seven Sacred Teachings of love, honesty, humility, respect, truth, patience and wisdom,1 which are transferable ethical values for health care. Mandating emotions, like love, is unheard of in Western-based clinical care, but Indigenous perspectives in health care teach about honesty, humility and respect as positive behaviours to help build trust, relationships and safe spaces.2

Traditionally, Western-based knowledge in health is “predominantly shaped by conventional scientific approaches,”3 vigorously clinical and data driven. It may question the credibility of nonclinical approaches, conveying the principle that “anything that falls outside of scientific reasoning is disregarded as inconclusive.” 3 Marie Battiste, Mi’kmaw scholar, describes this dismissive stance as “cognitive manipulation,” …

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