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Connected North Well-Being Framework: Additional Resources & References

These are additional resources and references we reflected on in the development of the Well-Being Framework.

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Connected North
Well-Being Framework
Additional Resources
and References
Connected North Program Principles
“Culture is the foundation for a “good life”, and the knowledge contained within culture
applies across the life span and addresses all aspects of life.
“While the colonization of people an land is often cited, what is equally important to
acknowledge is the colonization of knowledge and language. In the most recent First
Nations Regional Health Survey, almost half (42.6%) of First Nations youth reported loss of
culture as a community challenge. Among those who recognized this as a challenge, fewer
than one-in-ten (6.8%) reported that good progress is being made in the area of culture
loss. The strength inherent in culture is not well recognized within the “evidence base”
because it has been displaced by western knowledge systems that focus on deficits and
problems…”
First Nations Mental Wellness Continuum Framework
Our mental health can also be affected by the environments we live in. We may
have positive feelings about ourselves and be able to keep our “balance” in
our thoughts. However, if we are surrounded by people who behave toward
us in a harmful manner through racism, oppression, neglect, violence or
abuse, it can throw us off balance and make us feel like there is something
“wrong with us” when nothing could be further from the truth.
Feeling sad, down or outright angry is a perfectly “okay” reaction to these
negative behaviours of others. Knowing this can encourage us to reach out to
others for support — people who understand our experience and help us
regain our balance. In fact, having supportive family and friends, a positive
community environment and opportunities to give back to others can be one
of the best ways to restore and maintain good mental health.
Web of Being
According to Feathers of Hope: A First
Nations Youth Action Plan
Feathers of Hope : A First Nations Youth Action Plan
(Provincial Advocate for Children & Youth) Ontario; 2014)
Inuit Societal Values
Government of Nunavut
From its start in 1999, our government has been guided by Inuit societal values. We continue to be guided by these principles as we address our
challenges and step forward together towards a brighter future:
• Inuuqatigiitsiarniq: Respecting others, relationships and caring for people.
• Tunnganarniq: Fostering good spirits by being open, welcoming and inclusive.
• Pijitsirniq: Serving and providing for family and/or community.
• Aajiiqatigiinniq: Decision making through discussion and consensus.
• Pilimmaksarniq/Pijariuqsarniq: Development of skills through
observation, mentoring, practice, and effort.
• Piliriqatigiinniq/Ikajuqtigiinniq: Working together for a common
cause.
• Qanuqtuurniq: Being innovative and resourceful.
• Avatittinnik Kamatsiarniq: Respect and care for the land, animals
and the environment.
https://thunderbirdpf.org/first-nations-mental-wellness-continuum-framework/
First Nations
Mental Wellness
Continuum
Framework
“Mental wellness is
supported by culture,
language, Elders, families,
and creation and is
necessary for healthy
individual, community, and
family life.”
– First Nations Mental
Wellness Continuum
Framework
Ad

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Connected North Well-Being Framework: Additional Resources & References

  • 3. “Culture is the foundation for a “good life”, and the knowledge contained within culture applies across the life span and addresses all aspects of life. “While the colonization of people an land is often cited, what is equally important to acknowledge is the colonization of knowledge and language. In the most recent First Nations Regional Health Survey, almost half (42.6%) of First Nations youth reported loss of culture as a community challenge. Among those who recognized this as a challenge, fewer than one-in-ten (6.8%) reported that good progress is being made in the area of culture loss. The strength inherent in culture is not well recognized within the “evidence base” because it has been displaced by western knowledge systems that focus on deficits and problems…” First Nations Mental Wellness Continuum Framework
  • 4. Our mental health can also be affected by the environments we live in. We may have positive feelings about ourselves and be able to keep our “balance” in our thoughts. However, if we are surrounded by people who behave toward us in a harmful manner through racism, oppression, neglect, violence or abuse, it can throw us off balance and make us feel like there is something “wrong with us” when nothing could be further from the truth. Feeling sad, down or outright angry is a perfectly “okay” reaction to these negative behaviours of others. Knowing this can encourage us to reach out to others for support — people who understand our experience and help us regain our balance. In fact, having supportive family and friends, a positive community environment and opportunities to give back to others can be one of the best ways to restore and maintain good mental health. Web of Being According to Feathers of Hope: A First Nations Youth Action Plan Feathers of Hope : A First Nations Youth Action Plan (Provincial Advocate for Children & Youth) Ontario; 2014)
  • 5. Inuit Societal Values Government of Nunavut From its start in 1999, our government has been guided by Inuit societal values. We continue to be guided by these principles as we address our challenges and step forward together towards a brighter future: • Inuuqatigiitsiarniq: Respecting others, relationships and caring for people. • Tunnganarniq: Fostering good spirits by being open, welcoming and inclusive. • Pijitsirniq: Serving and providing for family and/or community. • Aajiiqatigiinniq: Decision making through discussion and consensus. • Pilimmaksarniq/Pijariuqsarniq: Development of skills through observation, mentoring, practice, and effort. • Piliriqatigiinniq/Ikajuqtigiinniq: Working together for a common cause. • Qanuqtuurniq: Being innovative and resourceful. • Avatittinnik Kamatsiarniq: Respect and care for the land, animals and the environment.
  • 6. https://thunderbirdpf.org/first-nations-mental-wellness-continuum-framework/ First Nations Mental Wellness Continuum Framework “Mental wellness is supported by culture, language, Elders, families, and creation and is necessary for healthy individual, community, and family life.” – First Nations Mental Wellness Continuum Framework
  • 7. According to the First Nations Mental Wellness, Continuum Framework developed by the First Nations Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB), the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), and Indigenous mental health leaders from various First Nations non-government organizations: “While there are different kinds of specific mental health issues that can affect communities, mental wellness is a broader term that can be defined as a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, and is able to make a contribution to her or his own community. Mental wellness is supported by culture, language, Elders, families, and creation, and is necessary for healthy individual, community and family life. First Nations embrace the achievement of whole health - physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, and economic well-being - through a coordinated, comprehensive approach that respects, values, and utilizes First Nations cultural knowledge, approaches, languages, and ways of knowing.” Mental wellness is a balance of the mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional. This balance is enriched as individuals have: purpose in their daily lives whether it is through education, employment, care giving activities, or cultural ways of being and doing; hope for their future and those of their families that is grounded in a sense of identity, unique indigenous values, and having a belief in spirit; a sense of belonging and connectedness within their families, to community, and to culture; and finally a sense of meaning and an understanding of how their lives and those of their families and communities are part of creation and a rich history. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/first-nations-inuit-health/reports-publications/health-promotion/first-nations-mental- wellness-continuum-framework-summary-report.html How do you define well-being? According to The Circle of Courage: Developing Resilience and Capacity in Youth Larry K. Brendtro, Martin Brokenleg, Steve Van Bockern “The Circle of Courage, is a model of youth empowerment that identifies the four vital signs for positively guiding youth through belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity.” Belonging: The universal longing for human attachment is met through relationships of trust and respect so that the child can say, “I am loved.” Mastery: The inborn thirst for achievement is nurtured and the child learns to cope with challenges and discovers “I can succeed.” Independence: The need for autonomy is nurtured by increased self-control and responsibility so that the child can say, “I have the power to make decisions.” Generosity: The sense of altruism is nurtured by concern for others so that the child can say, “I have a purpose for my life.”
  • 8. Next, education is another component of SES that influences Aboriginal health in various ways. Inadequate education often includes poor literacy which affects one’s ability to acquire information about proper nutrition or healthy food preparation. Low educational attainment also means less employment opportunities, resulting in higher chances of poverty. Connection to the Land Finally due to disconnection from the land and traditional activity, many Aboriginal youth are at-risk for unhealthy lifestyles that include lack of exercise and poor diet. Poor diet and lack of physical activity are associated with the epidemic of Type 2 Diabetes amongst Aboriginal adults and is increasing among Aboriginal youth. Social Determinants of Health (contd.) Healthy Weights Connection Fact Sheet No.5 : Social Determinants of Aboriginal People’s Health in Canada (Tracy Appiah-Kubi) Oct, 2015 (PDF) Education
  • 9. MENTAL HEALTH: These words refer to the way we think, feel and act. When we have good mental health we are able to feel for and get along well with others, love and care for ourselves and our friends, family and community and cope with the changes that happen in our lives. Good mental health means that we are able to manage our thoughts, feelings and actions and generally enjoy positive relationships with others. Of course everybody has “good days” when we feel “up” or happy and “bad days” when we feel sad, nervous, “jumpy” or worry too much about things in our lives. That’s just a part of being human. But when those feelings last a long time or overwhelm us to the point where we lose control of our behaviour and harm ourselves or others through words or actions, then we need to talk it out with a friend, family member, elder, counselor or another person we trust. Mental health is like physical health; you have to take care of your mental health the same way you do your physical health. Having good mental health is like having the ability to do a “balancing act,” to deal positively and in a non-harmful way with all good and bad things that happen in our lives. When we experience a loss or other sources of stress, it is okay to feel sad, down or “lost” or confused. Most of these feelings pass with time or with support and we regain a sense of “balance.” The time it takes will be different for every person. When we can’t get back to a sense of balance by ourselves and get “stuck” in negative thoughts or feelings or start using self-harming behaviours (like drug and alcohol abuse or solvent sniffing) to help us cope, then it is time to reach out for help. A good counselor or, if really serious, a mental health professional can help a person heal or “get their balance back” and restore their good mental health. Mental Health According to Feathers of Hope: A First Nations Youth Action Plan Feathers of Hope : A First Nations Youth Action Plan (Provincial Advocate for Children & Youth) Ontario; 2014) Traditional healing practices may also be used to restore balance if used by a knowledgeable community member or trusted elder who knows how to select and use the correct medicines.
  • 10. In conducting surveys of 103 community-based healing projects, the Aboriginal Healing Foundation (AHF) found that 80% of those projects included cultural activities and traditional healing interventions. These included Elders’ teachings, storytelling and traditional knowledge, language programs, land-based activities, feasts and powwows; and learning traditional art forms, harvesting medicines, and drumming, singing, and dancing. The AHF report observed, A notable component of successful healing programs was their diversity— interventions were blended and combined to create holistic programs that met the physical, emotional, cultural, and spiritual needs of participants. Not surprisingly, arts-based interventions were included in many cultural activities (drum making, beading, singing, and drumming) as well as in therapeutic healing (art therapy and psychodrama). The Aboriginal Healing Foundation’s findings make clear that creative art practices are highly effective in reconnecting Survivors and their families to their cultures, languages, and communities. In our view, this confirms yet again that funding for community-based healing projects is an urgent priority for Aboriginal communities. (Summary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, pg. 281) Other Research Determinants of Indigenous Peoples Health in Canada: Beyond the Social, August 2015 (https://www.canadianscholars.ca/books/determinants-of-indigenous-peoples-health-in-canada) Unikkaartuit: Meanings of Well-Being, Unhappiness, Health, and Community Change Among Inuit in Nunavut, Canada March 2011, (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/wol1/doi/10.1007/s10464-011-9431-4/full) The Importance of Identity, History, and Culture in the Wellbeing of Indigenous Youth, 2009, (https://muse.jhu.edu/article/266442/pdf) Blending Approaches for Community-Based Healing