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Traditional Knowledge

A Holistic Native Lifestyle

As Native people, our traditional knowledge grounds us. Learning and practicing our traditional lifeways give us health and wholeness. Elements of a Holistic Native lifestyle include culture, our Native languages, nutrition and food sovereignty, physical health and long life, healing for substance abuse and mental health issues, and health and reconciliation for family and community relationships.

Our traditional practices are grounded in time and in the seasons. From our culture, we know the practices that allow us to move through the seasons of the year with mindfulness. We believe that engaging in these practices, throughout the seasons, helps us become more whole. Our traditional knowledge reflects this wholeness, coming from a time before colonization damaged our relationships to ourselves and our relatives, to food and the earth, and to our communities and cultures.

Holistic Native is about complete wellness. Living in holistic ways, informed by traditional and cultural knowledge, helps us build total wellness for ourselves and our communities. Wellness is something broader and more lasting than healing. Healing is the process of recovery and repair, and it is a real and necessary part of our journey. Wellness is when you arrive at a living wholeness.

Our wellness approach, founded in traditional knowledge and culture, reverses the damaging impact of colonization, repairs community and generational bonds, and allows us, as individuals and as communities, to arrive at a health and wellness that is measurably improved.

Individual Transformation That Ripples Outward

We understand, and we have seen, that transformed individuals are a force for positive change.

As Native people, we understand deeply that wellness is not a journey that can be walked alone. Wellness is a pattern of concentric circles. It moves outward from ourselves, to our families, to our cities and schools and businesses, to our communities and reservations, clans and tribes, all the way out to how we live in right relationship with our Mother Earth.

But we also know that transformation can start with an individual: the Holistic Native.

In ceremony, the presence of every individual contributes to the circle. Even when your role is a small one, the engagement of every person is vital. We see individual wellness in a similar way: there is honor to pursuing wholeness and engaging in your own healing. The task of finding our place in the work of community wellness can start with the individual choices we make for ourselves. These choices create transformation that ripples outwards, through the many circles around us, affecting everything.

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