The 2007-2008 Sweeney Lecture in Current Issues in Healthcare
In 2004, the International Indigenous Elders Summit was held at Six Nations of the Grand River Territory . The inspiration for the summit came from a gathering of Haudenosaunee women who decided that it was time to find solutions and develop strategies for the well-being of their communities. This forum helped address the effects of historical trauma and the path toward decolonization for Indigenous Peoples of the Americas . This lecture focuses on the ways in which traditional practices, Indigenous knowledge, and the Elders' understanding of trauma provide resources and strength to communities that are pursuing healing. In the area of health care, there remains a tension between western-scientific approaches to medicine and Indigenous medicine since health care is so wrapped up in our identity, and for that reason too often a cause for misunderstanding. In the spirit of the Haudenosaunee women who initiated the Elders Summit, we will consider strategies that will provide for the medical well-being of Indigenous communities.
Dr. Dawn Martin-Hill is a member of the Mohawk Nation, a cultural anthropologist, documentary film maker, and the academic director of the Indigenous Studies Program at McMaster University . Dr. Martin-Hill is currently a co-investigator for the Indigenous Health Research Development Program, an ACADRE/NEAHR centre funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and participates in the Globalization and Autonomy Research Project. Her research interests concentrate on Indigenous women, medicine, knowledge and methodology. She has produced two documentaries of a series of four. The first one is Jidwá:doh - Let's Become Again , which focuses on the Elders' understanding of historical trauma and directions to begin to heal collectively using Indigenous knowledge and traditional practices. The second is Onkwànistenhsera - Mothers of Our Nation , which examines the need for Indigenous women to reclaim, restore and revitalize their traditional knowledge that has been lost through centuries of colonialism. Dr. Martin-Hill has published a number of articles on community wellness and Aboriginal women. Her book, The Lubicon Lake Nation: Indigenous Knowledge and Power , is set to released by the University of Toronto Press in early 2008.
The Sweeney Lecture was established by St. Mary's General Hospital to honour the memory of John Sweeney. It is funded by the St. Mary's General Hospital and the St. Joseph 's Health System.