Walking Through Truth: Indigenous Wisdom and Community Health Equity

Despite adversities, Indigenous Peoples of the Americas continue to thrive and develop solutions to social problems that help their communities—and the wider world.

July 26, 2023 | Source: Stanford Social Innovation Review | by Donald Warne

We live in an interesting time. A movement against facing the truth of US history and acknowledging the existence of systemic racism is sweeping through many parts of our country. Colonization is embedded in that history—European settlements of the 17th and 18th centuries are referred to as colonies. The original inhabitants of what is now the United States migrated to this region between 40,000 to 14,000 years ago. It is these first peoples who are Indigenous and became what we now call American Indian/Alaska Native peoples in the United States and First Nations populations in Canada. Indigenous Peoples have oral histories that confirm eons of existence in relationship with place, and we should be respectful that many Indigenous cultures have their own belief systems regarding creation and the origins of their populations.

For Indigenous Peoples of the Americas, the creation of borders that have been imposed upon tribal nations has led to a tremendous loss of land, natural resources, culture, food systems, language, economies, and a thousand generations of traditional knowledge.