Decolonizing Healing Through Indigenous Ways of Knowing

  • Field M
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The field of psychology is embarking on a process of interrupting the historical colonial cycle of harm and beginning to work with and alongside Indigenous communities to understand the healing journey (Drees, 2013). Understanding the healing journey provides a foundation for both those who seek and guide healing. As a society, disconnection with the land influenced how psychology teaches those who guide healing, the practices the field establishes as evidenced-based, and what elements contribute to positive outcomes. Exploring healing from a decolonizing perspective provides insight into the essential understanding where learning and healing coexist along this journey. Researchers, mental health service providers, and educators alike move towards acknowledging that challenging and displacing hegemonic Western knowledge systems is required to engage and enable multiple forms of literacy and knowledge to coexist (Kermoal & Altamirano-Jimenez, 2016). This work is not possible without the guidance of Indigenous communities, ensuring that healing is engaged in a strength-based, ethically responsible manner and for those guiding healing, an individual process of decolonizing Western psychology practices can begin. To better support trajectories of decolonizing practices in psychology, this chapter aligns with the Truth and Reconciliation of Canada (TRCC) Calls to Action (2012); specifically, Call to Action (Legacy, Health) 22, which calls upon "those who can effect change within the Canadian health-care system to




Field, M. (2022). Decolonizing Healing Through Indigenous Ways of Knowing (pp. 121–134).

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