Exploring Indigenous Traditional Healing support policies and programs in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand to inform the support for Indigenous Traditional Healing policies in Saskatchewan: a scoping review
The lower health status of Indigenous people in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are well documented and largely attributed to colonization and colonial policies. Colonization also led to the suppression of Indigenous Traditional Healing practices, which have been revitalized over the years by Indigenous societies with evidence of a profound effect on their health and wellbeing. Despite various policy recommendations concerning the rights and recognition of Indigenous Traditional Healing practices including TRC Call to Action 22, there is evidence of a literature gap regarding the extent to which Traditional Healing practices are supported in the mainstream healthcare system. This study explored ways Indigenous Traditional Healing practices are supported by the healthcare system in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand through policies and programs. This study is a part of a larger project to determine what aspects of Indigenous Traditional Healing policies and programs identified from the healthcare systems can be adopted to inform the support for Indigenous Traditional Healing policies in Saskatchewan. A scoping review guided by the PRISMA extension for Scoping Reviews was conducted. Databases for sources of information included CINAHL, Medline, Embase, Web of Science, Public Health, Global Health, iPortal, and grey literature search. Twenty-two articles (Canada=14 and Australia and New Zealand =8) met the inclusion criteria for data extraction for this scoping review. After the analysis of data extracted from each source of evidence, ten (10) Healthcare systems and services were identified with programs and policies supporting Indigenous Traditional Healing practices, which included midwifery, mental health, and palliative care. Within these services, programs identified utilized Indigenous Traditional Healing practices as the main or choice treatment, to support Western biomedical treatment options and or adopted Indigenous Traditional knowledge. The impact of the support and recognition of Indigenous Traditional Healing within the mainstream healthcare system includes increased access and attendance, improved healthcare experience and health outcomes, empowered individuals, and their communities, brought healthcare back to communities and improved the health and wellbeing of Indigenous people and their communities. Therefore, we call upon those who can effect change within the healthcare system to recognize the value of Indigenous healing practices and use them in the treatment of Indigenous patients.
Indigenous, Traditional Healing
Master of Science (M.Sc.)
Community Health and Epidemiology
Community and Population Health Science