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Indigenous spirituality is not an abstract construct – it is embodied and personal. Spiritual practices are based on an understanding that transformation is central to health and well-being, and that the natural world provides the lessons that lead us to change. Stories of land are stories of connection, which leads us to know what it means to be “in relation.” As such, Indigenous spirituality is a prescription for the malaise of colonialism and a how-to manual for the process of reconciliation and decolonization.
Drawing on trauma theory, epistemology, and education for social justice, this lecture describes how Indigenous spirituality moves us from woundedness to interrelatedness – and how that process becomes a healing story. The Cartesian emphasis on thinking leads us to an individual, alone with their thoughts. Living a spiritual life requires us to look outward, to the world and our place within it. Canada needs a healing story.
In this presentation, Louise Bernice Halfe (Sky Dancer) will read a selection of her work and discuss the ways in which spirituality operates in her own writing as well as how it manifests in Indigenous poetry more generally.