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Traditional Healing

Our Health
Health information specific to American Indian and Alaska Native people

Justice Department Announces Policy on Tribal Member Use of Eagle Feathers

U.S. Department of Justice

The Department of Justice policy addressing the ability of members of federally recognized Indian tribes to possess or use eagle feathers, an issue of great cultural significance to many tribes and their members.  October 2012.

National Eagle Feather Repository

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Provides a central location for the receipt, storage, and distribution of bald and golden eagles that are found dead, and their parts.  The eagles, and their parts, are shipped to qualified Native Americans for use in religious Indian ceremonies.

Native American Ethnobotany

University of Michigan-Dearborn

Native American Traditional Healing

New Mexico AIDS InfoNet

Traditional Healing in Healthfinder

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Traditional Health, Medicine and Healing

Alaska Native Knowledge Network

Traditional Medicine - Arctic Health

National Library of Medicine/University of Alaska Anchorage

Our Stories
American Indians and Alaska Native people share their personal health experiences

Alternative Methods Still Important to Native Healers

University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Today, Native women are using traditional methods to heal the wounds of disease, poverty and under-funded health care budgets.

Connecting Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Traditional Native Healing Practices

National Cancer Institute, NIH

Dr. White, Director of The Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine (OCCAM) and Dr. Henderson, CEO of Black Hills Center for American Indian Health, discuss cancer research as it relates to complementary and alternative medicine in the Native American community.

Essential Oils

Wisdom of the Elders

Explains the art of making and using essential oils and shares how the beauty and aroma of flowers and trees offer healing of our physical as well as our emotional, mental and spiritual health.

Feminine Aspects of the Plant World

Wisdom of the Elders

A discussion about healing as a traditional role for native women.

Growing Roots: Native American Evidence-Based Practices

Journal of Psychoactive Drugs

This special issue of the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs explores evidence-based practices for Native Americans.  It looks at contemporary behavioral health and substance abuse treatment and prevention practices of Native Americans in a context that is both historical and aware of Native American ways of knowing.

In the Words of Our Ancestors: Our Health, Strengthened by Sharing Metis Health and Healing

National Aboriginal Health Organization

This book contains the words of Metis ancestors and Elders from the past and present.  A series of Metis Elders' gatherings were held between 2003 and 2006 to recognize, share, protect, affirm, use and revitalize Metis traditional health and healing knowledge and practices.  The wisdom that was graciously shared at these historic meetings is the basis for this book.  (PDF, 2.6 MB)

Ogeebiccoon Roots

A reflection about the roots of plants and how they relate to the roots of community.

This digital story was produced at Fond Du Lac Human Services, with assistance from nDigiDreams, LLC, and sponsorship from the American Indian Health User Group and the Outreach and Special Populations Branch of the National Library of Medicine.

      Transcript (PDF, 20 KB)

Pandemic Influenza Storybook

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A historical look at the 1918 pandemic flu and how one family used traditional healing to ease symptoms.

The Gift of the Plant People

Wisdom of the Elders

An herbalist discusses indigenous ways of developing a relationship with the plant world and native herbalists' lifetime commitment to herbal medicine.

(This audio requires the use of the RealPlayer, which can be downloaded from RealPlayer's Web site at no charge.)

For Researchers, Health Professionals, and Educators
Tools for American Indian and Alaska Native people health

"Traditional [Native American] Indian Medicine Treatment of Chronic Illness: Development of an Integrated Program with Conventional Medicine and Evaluation of Effectiveness."

Lewis E. Mehl-Madrona, M.D., Ph.D.

Report of meetings between the author and Native American healers on the mind-body relationship and how these beliefs impact western medicine.

An Overview of Traditional Knowledge and Medicine and Public Health in Canada

National Aboriginal Health Organization

This 2008 paper provides an overview of traditional healing and knowledge in Canada.  (PDF, 320 KB)

Native American Ethnobotany

University of Michigan-Dearborn

Native Americans and Traditional Medicine

National Library of Medicine

Journal citations in MEDLINE/PubMed

Sacred Ways of Life: Traditional Medicine

National Aboriginal Health Organization

A toolkit developed for individuals and communities interested in the protection and promotion of traditional knowledge and healing practices.  (PDF, 552 KB)

Suicide Prevention: Inuit Traditional Practices that Encouraged Resilience and Coping

National Aboriginal Health Organization

A 2006 report which outlines the Inuit traditional practices that encouraged resilience and coping and their use in the prevention of suicide.  (PDF, 475 KB)

The Haudenosaunee Code of Behaviour For Traditional Medicine Healers

National Aboriginal Health Organization

This 2007 document represents one possible model as a path forward for individuals, communities and nations as they seek to protect and promote traditional healing practices and knowledge.  It also provides information on other activities that have been undertaken in the area of traditional healing practices and knowledge.  (PDF, 492 KB)

Traditional Medicine in Contemporary Contexts: Protecting and Respecting Indigenous Knowledge and Medicine

National Aboriginal Health Organization

This 2003 paper examines the meaning of traditional healing, roles of those involved in the practice and intellectual property rights and commercialization of traditional healing.  (PDF, 296 KB)

General Health Information about Traditional Healing

Herbs and Supplements in MedlinePlus

National Library of Medicine

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine

National Institutes of Health