Traditional Indian Medicine: American Indian Wellness by Dr. Patrisia Gonzales is the first textbook of its kind to provide a curriculum about traditional healing and wellness practices among American Indians in the United States. Authored by Dr. Patrisia Gonzales, an associate professor at the University of Arizona, the e-book offers guided questions, prompts and key words to about 20 articles and book chapters, mostly authored by Native peoples. Traditional Indian Medicine is considered the first textbook on Traditional Indian Medicine and traditional wellness centered on content created by American Indians and Indigenous peoples. With its emphasis on content created by American Indian medicine keepers and scholars, the text book offers an intimate perspective on TIM from the viewpoint of Indigenous peoples.
The textbook addresses the complexities of American Indian worldviews along with shared values that allow for a conversation across various Native traditions based on correspondences in certain values, such as a relationship to place, and how key attributes of respect, reciprocity, responsibility and regeneration become expressed in TIM. The articles include writings by American Indian medical doctors and nursing scholars, Indigenous activists in the food sovereignty movement, leading Native thinkers and scholars such as Gregory Cajete and Anna Lee Walters, and artists such as Joanne Shenandoah. It also includes videos links and website links to sites such as the National Library of Medicine (Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness). The textbook is presented in a way that it can be used at various levels of instruction, ranging from a general education course to part of a supporting curriculum for an upper division course.
Traditional Indian Medicine: American Indian Wellness addresses the relationship between Indigenous ways of knowing and American Indian healing systems and key values that are important to understanding the context of American Indian Wellness. The readings provide culturally specific contexts that help a student of the topic to better understand the profound philosophies that are contained within various healing systems that express TIM. The book contains content from array of Native Nations, including the Navajo, Ojibwe, Tohono O’odham and Yaqui nations and the Six Nations peoples, whose original territories are now bounded by the United States and Canada. The book addresses topics such as the relationships between self-determination and wellness, relationships with the natural world as relatives that participate in healing, intergenerational trauma and Native resiliency and various American Indian wellness models. Discussion questions ask the reader to consider foundational ideas central to TIM systems, such as what are Native concepts of “medicine”; who/what is involved in healing; how do relationships with the four elements of life (water, air, fire and earth) create medicine ways, and protocols and ethics in Indigenous healing systems. Plant knowledge is addressed through topics such as the use of Indigenous tobacco for prayers as well as the introduction of commercial, adulterated tobacco into Native societies. Cultural appropriation and stereotypes, as well as environmental justice and sacred sites, provide for a critical examination of topics related to TIM. In effect, students and readers are exposed to the complex systems of knowing and historical contexts of various American Indian nations through their healing systems.
The book contains artwork from the Native collection of the Arizona State Museum and artwork by Navajo artist Ronald Chee, making it a graphically inviting learning tool for the student.
Section 1: What is Medicine?
Unit 1: The Role of the Sacred and Indigenous Knowledge in Indigenous Healing Systems
Red Medicine: Spider Woman Called up this Knowledge by Patrisia Gonzales
Unit 2: Spiritual Ecology — the Eco-philosophies of Healing
Seeing Water: The Environmental Foundation of Indigenous Education by Gregory Cajete
Unit 3: Clans and Medicine — Bear Clan Medicine
How the Bear Clan Became Healers by Joanne Shenandoah Tekalihwa-Kwa and Douglas M. George-Kanentiio
Unit 4: The Nature of Medicine, according to a physicist
The Medicine Ways by F. David Peat
Section 2: Medicine People
Unit 1: Shamans and Medicine People
Shamanism and the World of the Spirits: The Oldest Religion by Peggy V. Beck, Anna Lee Walters and Nia Francisco
Unit 2: Shamans in Three Cultures
Shamanism and the World of the Spirits: The Oldest Religion by Peggy V. Beck, Anna Lee Walters and Nia Francisco (Part 2)
Unit 3: Shamin’ Shamans
Unit 4: The Powers of the Medicine People
The Powers Conferred on the Medicine Men by Vine Deloria Jr.
Unit 5: Yaqui Medicine — With Good Heart
Agents and Manifestations of the Supernatural by Muriel Thayer Painter
Section 3: Healing and Self-Governance
Unit 1: Historical Trauma Overview
Unit 2: Introduction to Historical Trauma
Nursing in the Native American Culture and Historical Trauma by Roxanne Struthers and John Lowe
Unit 3: Reclaiming Health: Unnatural Causes
Unit 4: Traditional Food Systems
Unit 5: The Ghost in Your Genes — Another Take on Genetics and Health
Section 4: Plant Knowledge/Food as Medicine
Unit 1: Decolonize Your Diet
Indigenous Food Challenge Learning Activity
Unit 2: Plant Medicine
Unit 3: Tobacco
Grandfather Tobacco by Patrisia Gonzales
Tobacco Burning by Ted C. Williams
Plant Knowledge Learning Activity
Section 5: Native Mental Health
Unit 1: Mascots in Whose Honor?
Unit 2: The Good Mind
Section 6: Contemporary Expressions of TIM
Unit 1: Collaborative, Alternative, or Complementary?
Traditional Indian Medicine by Dr. Walt Hollow
Unit 2: TIM and CAM
Unit 3: Contemporary TIM
The Way to Leave Your Illness by Ofelia Zepeda
The Politics and Language of Well-being by Maureen Trudelle Schwarz
Unit 4: An Indigenous Wellness Model
Living in Health, Harmony and Beauty: The Diné (Navajo) Hózhó Wellness Philosophy by Michelle Kahn-John and Mary Koithan
Unit 5: Medicine Wheel and the Sacred Hoop
Section 7: Women’s Medicine and Contemporary Healers
Unit 1: Women Healers
The Lived Experience of Ojibwe and Cree Women Healers by Roxanne Struthers
Women are the First Environment by Katsi Cook
Women’s Ways and Rites of Passage: Kinaaldá
Section 8: Ceremonial Medicine
Unit 1: Sweat Lodge Ceremony
Unit 2: The Consequences of Cultural Appropriation
Sweat Lodge by Lewis Mehl-Madrona
Unit 3: The Peyote Way
Jesus, Peyote and the Holy People by John F. Garrity
Section 9: Self Determination and Well-being
When Your Hands Are Tied video
Unit 1: Accountability and Accessibility
Haudenosaunee Code of Behavior for Traditional Medicine Healers by the National Aboriginal Healers Organization
Appendix 1: Note-taking Rubric
Appendix 2: Herb Template for Plant Knowledge Learning Activity
Appendix 3: Virtual Tour — Virtual Exhibit of the Native Voices Exhibit
Dr. Patrisia Gonzales is an Associate Professor at the University of Arizona, where she teaches several courses on Indigenous medicine. She is one of the few scholars in the country that has an expertise in traditional medicine ways of American Indians and other Indigenous peoples across North America. Her previous book Red Medicine: Traditional Indigenous Rites of Birthing and Healing (University of Arizona Press 2012) has been adopted for courses across the country and she is internationally recognized for her expertise in Indigenous midwifery and Indigenous medicine. She's also one of the few scholars in the country to offer courses on American Indian Medicine and Mesoamerican/Indigenous medicine at both the introductory and advanced levels. Additionally, she descends from several generations of Indigenous healers and has worked with Indigenous medicine keepers and elders for most of her life, providing a lived context for her interaction with these materials. She descends from Kickapoo, Comanche and Macehual peoples who traversed across the territories of what is now the United States and Mexico.