Spirituality, holism and healing among the Lakota Sioux, towards an understanding of Indigenous medicine

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Ellerby, Jonathan H.
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I understand that some things are not meant to be studied. Some things are inherently beyond materialistic examination and evaluation. For many Indigenous people, spiritual leaders, and traditional healers, Indigenous medicine and spirituality are matters that should remain beyond the microscope, beyond study and the written word. The strange path of history however, has made it such that the non-Indigenous study and understanding of Indigenous spirituality and healing has become essential to the healing of Indigenous nations. If non-Indigenous institutions are to provide culturally appropriate care and to support Indigenous systems of healing, a meaningful understanding of Indigenous healing must come first. I have undertaken this project to contribute to the preservation and strengthening of Indigenous healing traditions through education. The maintenance of traditional healing ways is a matter of central importance to many Indigenous nations and carries implications for all people. The health and freedomof one nation shapes the health and freedom of all. In his autobiography, 'Sacred Fireplace,' revered Lakota Holy Man, Pete Catches shares a prayer for his readers. I respectfully offer these good words as a prayer for those who read this: "May the Great Spirit's love, and in His goodness, bless you. The Great Spirit will bless those people who may read this book. I pray He will implant in their hearts a love and compassion for the sick. If we can each in our own way, and according to our own means, be able to lend a hand to others, then we know that we live in the light of the Great Spirit."