Meet the people putting Indigenous culture at the heart of addictions treatment – CBC

May 02, 2021

Reconnecting Indigenous people with their traditions is crucial for healing, advocates say

Indigenous advocates and front-line workers are pushing to include more traditional ways of healing — conversing with elders, smudging, sweat lodges and drum circles — into substance abuse treatment.

According to the First Nations Health Authority, Indigenous people are five times more likely to experience an overdose than non-Indigenous people. Advocates and experts say this is because they face past and continuing colonial trauma. And reconnecting to culture long suppressed by governments, schools and churches is crucial to turning the situation around.

Lisa Robinson is the executive director at Kackaamin Family Development Centre in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island where they offer treatment with Western medicine and traditional Indigenous ways of healing. They also offer treatment to the entire family.

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