Growing concern about cancer rates in aboriginal communities is prompting efforts in Ontario to provide culturally specific care, which some say needs to include a mix of traditional healing and mainstream medicine.

The agency that oversees cancer care in Ontario has embarked on a three-year plan to reduce the cancer risk for people of aboriginal descent.

It includes community programs to screen more people who are at risk.

Mark Hartman is the head of the Northeast Cancer Centre in Sudbury. Eight per cent of the population that the centre serves is aboriginal.

"We are seeing cancer rates rising more quickly than in the general population. In part, that may be due to smoking rates, diet and other social issues," Hartman said.

But individuals including Cindy Peltier, who lives on the Wikwemikong reserve, on Manitoulin Island, want to see mainstream medicine incorporate traditional healing in patient care.

The Laurentian University graduate student, who watched her father battle kidney cancer, said the solace he took in healing ceremonies and practices inspired her to study how such traditions can complement mainstream medicine.

"My dad actually was fortunate enough to be able to use both Western and indigenous healing methods," she said.

"Those methods were particularly helpful in bringing our family closer together. He was a changed man preparing for his journey to the spiritual world." (Source)

VIDEO Native American Healing In The 21st Century

Responses to "Traditional healing urged in aboriginal cancer care (Video)"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Alot of this knowledge is gone ... and it will all leave if it is not shared with the next generations. Share your knowledge on how to use this earth, not abuse it.

  2. Redhand says:

    Certainly whole, organic foods are a part of staying healthy and getting well when we are sick. Traditional spiritual healing is important also. Leaving aside whether you believe or not, the mind plays a big part in healing and if you have faith, and know that your healer, your priest, your minister or just your friends are pulling for you is a powerful aspect. I spent 10 years in mind/body healing and am now a massage therapist. By using what I know from mind/body healing in massage, I am able to help my clients much more.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Who says we can't get the "lost" knowledge back?

  4. Anonymous says:

    When I was in my one room school house in the 1950s, I read about an Ojibwa medic an man conducting a healing ceremony in a sweat lodge. He had an eagle feather on the ground, and when the eagle feather danced with drum and voice he new healing was taking place, he was also burning several herbs.
    In the 60’s somehow the white man discovered that sound aids cell division. Native people all over the earth knew this thousands of years ago. In addition to the sound and herbal medicines, spiritual medicine through by the religious experience also aiding in the healing. It is funny that we in modern time are only discovering this fact.

  5. Anonymous says:

    You will never find the cancer gene in us, but we still get cancer when fracking irradiates the water and topsoil where food is grown. Traditional medicine is always the answer for us because medicine men get their knowledge to cure from the spirit realm, instead of the hard-headed ignorance and self-important chemistry called "medical science". Want to see true science in action? Visit native elders, holy men, medicine men and Learn. They are not Shamans, we are not Nordics. They are NOT witchdoctors, we are not Africans. They are NOT voodoo priests, we are not Syrian. They are holy men, medicine men. Period. If you must equate them to anything of your world-view, equate them to Priests and Doctors.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The power of prayer and healing go hand in hand. I wish I knew the words to a healing prayer so I could help my friends,their children and anyone who needs help. all I can do now is be a listener to their problems,never offer advice unless asked,console them,give them hope n pray for them even if they do not believe . A chaplain in the army once said he never met an atheist or a non believer who did not cry out to a greater force for help and salvation of their soul when injured.Most of us know there is a supreme being that guides our lives. The Shaman ,medicine man or healer should be given the respect same as as the doctors,priests, reverands,rabbi,or imam's.

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