'The authors propose that a key cause of hurt among all Aboriginal people is a history of rejection that continues in their daily life. All of us may have experienced rejection and pain at one time or another. The rejection may have been minor or so crushing that it affected one’s whole life, the many family and intimate relationships, and the capacity to show emotion with loved ones and in the community.
As noted above, many of our men suppress the pain suffered at the hands of others but, most importantly, we believe that many of our men have suppressed the pain from rejection.
Today, in order to reverse the effects of rejection, we must turn the hearts of the fathers back to their sons and the hearts of the sons back to their fathers to restore a bond that had been practiced by over two thousand generations prior to colonisation. One such program called Red Dust Healing is allowing this process to begin so our men can stand as a man, husband and father.
Red Dust Healing identifies a model of oppression and how this oppression worked to remove the four core values (identity, responsibilities, relationships and spirituality) from man as the individual. The program addresses oppression in ways that reverse the colonisation process... (pp. 464)
... The first critical step is to start with the individual - each man. It is vital, more than ever, to heal Aboriginal men, and support them as they begin to remove the deep wound of rejection so they can reclaim their position in the family, community, culture and nation.
The cultural program, Red Dust Healing has been achieving outstanding results healing men and also restoring families. We need our individuals to step up and see themselves as a man, then see themselves again as husbands for our wives, fathers and role models for our children, and leaders of our communities. They can make a nation proud again. We believe that if you fix a man you fix a family and all things that stem from this foundation.
Red Dust Healing Philosophy
The Red Dust Healing program is based on six philosophical principles that guide the work by trained facilitators.
Philosophical Principles Guiding the Red Dust Healing Program
- Ancient traditional practices, morals and values should be understood as a way of addressing issues in today’s society;
- Exploration of one’s personal history addresses the question: If we do not acknowledge who we are and from where we came, how can we know where we are going?;
- Healing is defined as a spiritual understanding of self, identity, love, belonging, family, security, hurt, heartache, good times and laughter;
- Healing is a renewed grasp for hope that grows from developing love, respect and understanding of ourselves and others who support us. Healing comes from telling your story in a place and with people that offer acceptance and tools for going forward;
- Healing does not happen immediately. Time and personalised support are required to learn and practice the new tools, negotiate systems that may still feel foreign or threatening, and refine one’s ability to trust the heart over the head; and
- Helping men heal, in particular, will have a spreading positive effect on his relationships with his children, partner and family, as well as the community...' (pp. 465)
The Red Dust Healing program encompasses visual holistic learning modules (see below) that engage the participants on an emotional level by having them create images and tell their story. Cultures are linked to personal stories to encourage participants to gain individual insights into their identity, belonging and self-belief.
Pro-Social Modelling arises naturally as facilitators and attendees learn about their culture and apply new tools for resolving conflict and getting their basic personal and interpersonal needs met.
The program facilitates the understanding of Rejection and Grief and Loss as the possible foundation of all hurt. Although written from an Aboriginal perspective, Red Dust Healing also applies to other people. Rejection knows no bounds; it is the same for young and old, for male and female, and for black and white - it hurts us all.
Participants are supported as they examine their own personal hurt which allows them to heal from within by closely considering and sometimes discussing family and personal relationships. Many describe life-long patterns of violence, abuse and neglect. The good and bad nutrients that were part of their young life are examined and related to their present day behaviour.
The program facilitator places the participant both in the position of being hurt (victim) and then as the one doing the hurting (perpetrator). They identify the powerful, and in some cases crippling, emotions felt as the victim and then the hurt they cause as the perpetrator and perpetuator of intergenerational trauma.
Participants are asked to examine the effects the rejection, abuse and neglect may have had on their lives while growing up, and question whether they are repeating the same tactics that may have hurt them...' (pp. 466)
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