Aboriginal Women's Health, Healing and Wellness
Aboriginal women have always played an important role in the health, healing, and wellness of our families and communities. Aboriginal women are Elders and traditional knowledge keepers who often maintain their knowledge of medicines and healing plants as passed down to them by their grandmothers. It is with this understanding that ONWA aims to support Aboriginal women in their efforts to reassert our traditional roles as healers, caretakers and teachers within our families and communities.
Approaching health, healing and wellness from a wholistic perspective, ONWA recognizes that health includes all aspects of ourselves – mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual. Research and experience indicates that Aboriginal women consistently experience poorer health as a result of being affected by poverty, housing, violence, intergenerational trauma, food insecurity, disability, ethnicity, and perceived gender inequalities. With the ongoing effects of colonial policies impacting the lives of Aboriginal women, we acknowledge that healing is a continuing process.
With a focus on improving the lives and wellbeing of Aboriginal women, ONWA’s Department of Policy and Research engages in research and advocacy-based activities aimed at readdressing the barriers that contribute to Aboriginal women’s disempowerment.
Through the incorporation of a strengths-based approach, we strive to build upon the existing capacity of Aboriginal women, recognizing that healing begins within our families and communities. We address issues that continue to negatively impact the health of Aboriginal women by responding to policies and legislation such the Local Health Services Integration Act, developing Aboriginal women’s health indicators, and examining Aboriginal women’s traditional healing roles.