Ecosystem Approaches to Indigenous Health
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Many Indigenous communities around the world have strong ties with the biophysical environment. As expressed in the opening chapter of this book, Indigenous communities see the forests as: “their food bank, drugstore, meat market, bakery, fruit and vegetable stand, building material centre, beverage supply, and the habitat for all of the creator’s creatures.”1 These close ties with the natural environment is reflected in many aspects of the Aboriginal culture, including how health is conceptualized and experienced. Many Indigenous peoples conceptualize health from a holistic perspective and see individual and community well-being to be intricately linked to the health of the “country.” Similarly, many Indigenous populations rely on traditional forms of healing. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 80% of Indigenous population in developing countries relies on traditional healing systems as the primary source of care (World Health Organization 1999).
KeywordsIndigenous People Indigenous Population Indigenous Community Extreme Weather Event Poor Health Outcome
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