While some indigenous populations in Canada have higher risks of health problems, our usual treatments often focus solely on western medical approaches.
Experts say that cultural strategies proposed by indigenous leaders that address the multi-faceted problems are effective but regularly ignored.
While cultural approaches are not a replacement for medicine, working with communities to incorporate cultural strategies may be beneficial says Dr. Christopher Mushquash, an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Lakehead University, and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and Clinical Psychologist at Dilico Anishinabek Family Care.
Jon McGavock, a professor of health sciences at the University of Manitoba says that scientific evidence shows what indigenous leaders have known for years: culture is healing.
He says that understanding the connection between wellness and culture should help shape policy in order to get to the root of some health disparities in indigenous communities.
Interview by Dane Wanniarachige, journalist intern at EvidenceNetwork.ca.