Collective Grief and Trauma: Applying Black and Indigenous Healing Practices to D.O.S.E Regulations

Tai Salih (she/her)
ZORA
Published in
5 min readNov 15, 2023

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Addressing collective grief and trauma necessitates a mindful acknowledgment of the deliberate erasure and appropriation of Indigenous and African healing practices within Western methodologies. For Black and Indigenous individuals, reclaiming their traditional healing methods is more than a path to wellness; it’s an act of cultural restoration and resilience. Recalling that our ancestors left us with wisdom based on connection and harmony with the land. These practices have sustained us for thousands of years and much of what we see today in Western models not only works counter to nature but also was not designed for us and much was created at the expense of our bodies.

Erasure of Indigenous and African Practices:

Western approaches have systematically marginalized Indigenous and African healing practices. The deliberate eradication of traditional systems, such as the outlawing of sacred Indigenous ceremonies and the suppression of midwifery practices among African communities, signifies the intentional erasure of invaluable cultural knowledge (Doe, 2021).

Co-Opting of Traditional Practices:

Western cultures have historically appropriated aspects of Indigenous and African practices, detaching them from their cultural roots. This appropriation has led to the commodification and exploitation of rituals, stripping them of their authenticity and spiritual significance (Smith, 2019).

The deliberate removal of these traditional practices has had severe repercussions. The forced abandonment of herbal medicine and spiritual healing ceremonies has resulted in a loss of cultural heritage and traditional knowledge, contributing to health disparities and cultural erosion among Black and Indigenous individuals (Garcia, 2017).

Western Appropriation and Redefining Healing:

The appropriation and exploitation of these practices within Western frameworks redefine and dilute their essence, perpetuating harm. Restoring and preserving Indigenous and African traditional healing becomes an essential act of cultural reclamation, promoting individual healing and cultural resilience (Martinez, 2020).

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Tai Salih (she/her)
ZORA
Writer for

Yogi E-RYT® 500, YACEP® | Founder @ Red Ma'at Collective | Integrative Counsellor www.redmaathealing.com