Essay Example on Medicine Wheel: Symbol of Indigenous Identity & Dignity

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1663 Words
Date:  2023-04-09


Various communities use cultural symbols to signify their community's organization. In the contemporary world, Indigenous people struggle to find recognition in their culture and promote their dignity. Due to that, the indigenous communities use graphic designs in the form of images and symbols to hold onto their arts and poise. The topic chosen for this research paper is the medicine wheel graphic design in Indigenous communities. The wheel has four colored quadrants containing the white, yellow, red, and black colors. The medicine wheel represents the four races, seasons, compass point direction, stages of birth, parts of the day, and a spirit animal. The medicine wheel is always a misused element in the Indigenous design. Indigenous communities and organizations use the medicine wheel to advertise their products, services, nations, and events. Appropriate use of the indigenous medicine wheel has been an issue in contemporary society. Indigenous communities have used the medicine wheel for centuries. The paper presents four steps that discuss the social force of recognition, responsibility, reciprocity, and relationship in Couture Medicine Circle graphic design among indigenous communities and connects it to their challenge of receiving health care services. The four steps contain a detailed seminar discussion in weeks 5, 6, 7, and 8.

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Step 1 - Week 5

Medicine Wheel and Recognition

Week 5 step explores the first stage of the medicine wheel, recognition, and examines resilience as a critical theme. For years, indigenous people have always demonstrated resilience and worked towards achieving health and wellness. United Nations (128) stated that their approaches are rooted in elements of wellness such as physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual, which are represented in the image of the medicine wheel. There is a growing recognition of indigenous populations with the medicine wheel of traditional healing. Indigenous Organization (1) affirmed that having a medicine wheel embedded as a logo for "we are an organized organization." The author indicated that many indigenous organizations use the medicine wheel in brands for their organization and is widely known as a tool for promoting recognition in indigenous populations (Indigenous Organization 1). Undoubtedly, the medicine wheel contains the healing and teachings of indigenous populations, which helps them to gain recognition worldwide because they have used it for years.

Resilience as a Theme in Indigenous Communities

The medicine wheel and the theme of resilience are interconnected. Danto (2) examined the medicine wheel and resilience within the indigenous community in Northern Ontario. He scrutinized the issue of mental health in indigenous communities using the medicine wheel of traditional healing. According to the author, themes such as identity, community, and acceptance emerged from the responses of participants (Danto 2). Such themes are foundational to the strengths of indigenous communities as they suggest that the people unite to face a range of problems and have an autonomy that helps them handle those issues (Danto 2). The author spoke of resiliency and communal spirit that enables the indigenous people to have strong family bonds and support each other (Danto 2). From the responses of participants in the research, their resilience helps them to take care of their wellbeing and focus on their mental health using the medicine wheel of traditional healing.

Challenges Faced by Indigenous Communities

Today, indigenous communities face the challenge of access to health care services. They have a right to access their traditional medicines and be actively involved in health programs. According to the United Nations (2), the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples indicated that even though every individual should have access to health care services, indigenous people groups tend to endure higher rates of ill health and have shorter life expectancy than any other groups in a given country (United Nations, 2). This imbalance makes indigenous people groups endure unsuitable medical issues and they are bound to encounter inabilities as well as death at a youthful age than their non-indigenous partners (United Nations 2). Indigenous people groups' health status is seriously influenced by their living conditions, income levels, business rates, access to safe water, sanitation, health programs and food accessibility (United Nations 3). Indigenous groups are confronting obliteration to their properties, and assets which are fundamental to their endurance (United Nations 3). Indigenous groups likewise experience major structural hindrances in accessing human services (United Nations 3). The structural barriers incorporate geological disconnection and neediness which results in not having the way to pay the significant expense for transport or treatment (United Nations 3). This is additionally intensified by separation, bigotry, and an absence of social comprehension and sensitivity (United Nations 3). Seemingly, numerous health frameworks fail to mirror the social, communal practices and convictions of indigenous people. Due to that, the indigenous populations face challenges in accessing health services such as mental health and other serious conditions.

Step 2 - Week 6

Medicine Wheel and Responsibility

Week 6 scrutinizes the second stage of the medicine wheel, responsibility, to identify and delineate the implications and legacy of the events documented in the history of resurgence. Regarding responsibility, Manitowabi, Babin, and Goupil (121) indicated that the medicine wheel focuses on developmental stages as well. The author added that in the circle, the pine cone (infant) is represented in the east. It then grows into the adult life and produces more pine cones that show the later life (Manitowabi et al. 121). In the circle, infants need caring and nurturing (Manitowabi et al. 121). This responsibility falls in the parents (Manitowabi et al. 121). As the circle grows wider, children grow into adolescents (Manitowabi et al. 121). Again, the responsibility falls into the parents (Manitowabi et al. 121). The authors suggest that the indigenous populations use the medicine wheel to remind them of their being regarding the physical, mental, and emotional aspects. The medicine wheel enables indigenous communities to explore what needs to be done to gain a balance in their life.

Resurgence as a Theme in Indigenous Communities

Despite expanding losses through globalization and the pressures to acclimatize, there is proof showing the resurgence of indigenous societies, knowledge, and languages. United Nations (77) indicated that the expanding number of individuals recognizing their indigenous status is adding to the expanded numbers and extension of indigenous groups and the recuperation of languages and indigenous information frameworks. Efforts are underway toward recuperating a portion of the jeopardized languages and societies (United Nations 77). This change is to a great extent credited to expanded information on indigenous societies and their latent capacity (United Nations 77). As per the document, the efforts are attributed to the actuality that indigenous societies are self-continuing and can ensure they feel a sense of prosperity (United Nations 77). This resurgence is especially obvious at the international level, where the worldwide indigenous associations continue developing in size and advancement (United Nations 77). The indigenous people groups' development has made noteworthy walks in battling for the acknowledgment and security of the aggregate privileges of indigenous people, as featured by the appropriation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples concerning the United Nations General Assembly in 2007, and indigenous people groups are progressively present and obvious at different worldwide fora (United Nations 77). Undeniably, these new accomplishments are proclaiming another period in advancing the assurance and advancement of indigenous societies around the globe.

Implications of Health Challenges

There are myriads of implications in the health challenges that indigenous populations face. Maher (234) stated that in any healthrelated circumstance, indigenous individuals ought to be given explanations on sickness. Undoubtedly, the biomedical clarification should regard any conventional clarifications of the reasons for disease and death offered by the patient or family. The author emphasized that conversations about treatment should regard the family's desires regarding the patient's consideration, including the utilization of customary Indigenous medication such as the medicine wheel (Maher 234). In specific conditions, indigenous people grasp a biomedical clarification to dodge the political troubles which could go to a social and otherworldly record (Maher 234). Disparities in recognitions in regards to the reason for ill health will influence the way individuals respond to their disease. This is particularly the situation if the administrators depend on suspicions fundamental to Western culture.

Health experts should facilitate an attempt to comprehend and connect into the conviction arrangement of their patients to guarantee they have the most extreme impact. Besides, difficulties emerge in cooperation between indigenous patients and health experts when the wellbeing proficient offers a rendition of reality that is unique with the patient's understanding (Maher 234). It is essential to investigate the patient's perspective to accomplish a congruency of importance. Furthermore, wellbeing experts must create aptitude in correspondence across social contrasts, as believing associations with indigenous patients are fundamental in the arrangement of any treatment. The inclinations to pathologies to blame social contrasts for various degrees of administration or to get hindered by the dread of being socially inappropriate must be eluded.

Step 3 - Week 7

The Medicine Wheel and Reciprocity

Week 7 examines the third step of the medicine wheel, reciprocity, and explores re-imagination as a critical theme. Regarding reciprocity, Dudegeon (3) stated that in the social circle the circle speaks to two things. The first is the populist political way of thinking of domestic scale societies, while the second is generalized reciprocity or the act of openly sharing food and other necessities within the indigenous community (Dudegeon 3). According to the author, the two aspects are firmly related, since the generalized reciprocity is an essential method for accomplishing the goals of an egalitarian political philosophy's main goal. Furthermore, Lavallee (35) indicated that inside an Indigenous research structure the principle of reciprocity, or giving back, is fundamental. Undoubtedly, reciprocity incorporates the progression of Indigenous methods for knowing.

Re-Imagination as a Theme in Indigenous Communities

Concerning re-imagination, Whithey (118) asserted that the post-colonial imagination archives are the foundations for re-imagination that allowed for the presumed demise of indigenous populations. The author added that as places and structures interjected into social justice agendas, archives, archivists, and archival professionals cannot overlook the progressions and difficulties brought by these developments (Whithey 118). This author discussed the rising documented creative mind through the viewpoint of sovereignty to uncover the spot of Indigenous rights and repatriation.

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