"We recognise the importance of connecting Indigenous people to their culture, land, spirituality, family, community and history to facilitate healing. Culture and land provide meaning and purpose to life, a strong positive identity, and a sense of wellbeing."
Sharing Culture recognises that healing comes from within the person, but is strongly influenced by the person’s relationships and their social environment. This means that empowerment and connection are key to healing. Social environments must be created in which healing can flourish.
Our approach empowers Indigenous people to heal by giving them hope (that healing is possible), understanding (of the nature of the problems and how they can be overcome) and a sense of belonging. We recognise that self-determination is the foundation of healing.
We aim to connect Indigenous people to culturally safe and supportive environments, and facilitate the creation of such environments.
We recognise the importance of connecting Indigenous people to their culture, land, spirituality, family, community and history to facilitate healing. Culture and land provide meaning and purpose to life, a strong positive identity, and a sense of wellbeing.
We stress the importance of healing the whole community - the Native American ‘healing forest’ model - rather than trying to ‘fix’ individuals, which is the primary focus of western culture.
We know that there are a wide range of social, political and environmental factors that impact on health and wellbeing, and healing. It is essential that our initiative impacts on both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, since the thinking and actions of the latter can impact on Indigenous people.
All cultures must come together to create a society that is more respectful, caring and empathic towards our fellow man, no matter what his or her culture.
Education is key to healing. Sharing Culture is developing a multi-faceted education and advocacy resource on Indigenous healing, which is based on lived experience.
This resource will include an inspiring collection of written and filmed Healing Stories. Indigenous people who have healed from historical trauma and its consequences have shown great strengths and resilience, as well as the necessary coping mechanisms, skills and knowledge, to rise above adversity. They are role models and their Stories empower others.
Our educational resource will also include Stories of successful Indigenous healing initiatives, to help communities learn from each other, as well as Cultural Stories that engender pride and facilitate cultural connectedness. It will highlight the latest scientific research about healing and recovery.
We have completed the first stage of development of Sharing Culture, using the voices of Indigenous people to educate people about the healing of historical trauma and its consequences.
In this stage, David 'listened' to Indigenous people via the internet, books, science papers and personal communications. He established some key collaborations which will blossom into full scale projects highlighting life in Indigenous communities, showcasing healing and cultural stories, and demonstrating the key principles of healing. These healing collaborative projects will be established over time as we attract funding.
Our aim is to create high quality content about these initiatives that will be disseminated via a multi-platform approach, i.e. internet, documentary film, iBooks, newspapers, community education, etc.
We aim to inspire and educate our audience, create advocacy campaigns, and help the people we collaborate with develop their projects further. We need to learn from, and facilitate the work of, people with successful healing initiatives.
Our project will empower Indigenous people to heal at an individual, family and community level. However, it mustn’t just be Indigenous people who are involved in this healing process. We all have a role to play.
Sharing Culture is also targeting non-Indigenous people working in health, social care and criminal justice systems, young people in schools and higher education establishments, as well as government officials and politicians. We want to impact on wider society, so that we can help reduce the racism and prejudice that exists.