Cultural Program Manager
Native Canadian Centre of Toronto
Eric Johnston has worked on numerous areas of research in Indian Control of Indian Education, Land claims, Addiction program research with Health Canada Medical Services Native Addictions Health Program. I have been involved in providing technical support to environmental management initiatives as well as served 13 years working in a variety of capacities within 90 bed Alcohol and Drug Treatment facility in San Francisco as well as Youth Development programming.
Indigenous Mental Health
Speaker: Eric Johnston, Cultural Program Manager, Native Canadian Centre of Toronto
This presentation will provide an alternative view of colonization, showing it as a North American Indigenous mental experience that prevented an appreciation of the contributing personality of Indigenous people as the aims of colonization hardened to focus upon eliminating the Indigenous political status.
The process of colonization is the political and social creation story that was enabled by the process of Nation-state-ism that legislated into existence an ethnically diverse population of people into single race and society in which Indigenous people would not be allowed to participate in.
The new research now connects human emotional developments as both the beginning and end point to the biological (nervous system arrangement with anger, fear and hormone) responses activated by physical, mental stress, violent experiences linkable to sources as poverty and emotional poor environments. These are environments in which stress, trauma, and aggression are frequent mental conditions associated with First Nations communal environments that are in fact post-colonial conditions.
Indigenous cultural practices and forms of cultural expression are now thought to be able offer contributions in emotional regulatory developments that are required to address the deeper and more difficult aspects of PTSD and behavior modification, placing drumming, vision quest, yoga, meditation, sun dances, sweat lodges as contributing therapeutic possibilities.