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It’s in our blood: Indigenous women’s knowledge as a critical path to women's well-being

Janice Cindy Gaudet, Diane Caron-Bourbonnais

Abstract


The research reported in this article sought to shed light on the North, Central and South American indigenous moon time teachings related to the menstrual cycle of women. The historical institutionalization, medicalization and colonization of indigenous women’s practices have devalued and almost destroyed this knowledge. This study explored the question of whether or not lost indigenous knowledge of women’s power can be reclaimed for women’s health and well- being. A qualitative participatory research methodology was adopted, based on an indigenous paradigm and scholarly rigour and including protocols acceptable to an Ojibwe grandmother, Isabelle Meawasige, who shared her knowledge and experience. The experiential knowledge gained and the meanings expressed by female participants in a circle sharing facilitated by the principal author are presented and discussed. The results of this research reveal optimistic possibilities to co- create health and well- being for the participants, grounded in what is both visible and invisible within indigenous women’s culture.


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Print ISSN 1177-1801 Online ISSN 1174-1740