Ann Marie Proulx-White gathering cedar branchesAnn Marie Proulx-White will share her knowledge on the healing benefits of cedar in a public lecture Jan. 14.

Use of cedar in Indigenous medicine subject of lecture

A lecture entitled “Healing with Cedar” will provide an introduction to Indigenous medicine on Thursday, Jan. 14. Ann Marie Proulx-White will be sharing her knowledge on the health and healing benefits of cedar from a traditional Ojibwe lens for a class of human kinetics students, with an invitation extended to the entire campus community to join.

Proulx-White, co-ordinator of the cultural harm reduction outreach team in Chippewas of the Thames First Nation, leads self-care workshops for individuals or groups using cedar as one of the main ingredients. Cedar has been used for generations in the practice of traditional medicine and has many healing and calming properties and applications.

She grew up with a strong traditional upbringing and is active in ceremonial and cultural practices, elders gatherings, and powwows, and says she views her role as a shkabewis — meaning natural helper — to her community.

“Through the workshop I hope to provide a greater understanding of self-care and foster connection through the use of traditional sacred medicines,” Proulx-White says. “I’m honoured and humbled that my name was brought forward as a knowledge keeper to present what I have learned.”

Krista Loughead, a naturopathic doctor and a sessional instructor in the Faculty of Human Kinetics, teaches a course on complementary and alternative medicine and saw the opportunity to encourage the sharing of Indigenous perspectives in a guest lecture by Proulx-White.

“The Fundamentals of Complementary and Alternative Medicine course provides students with experiences to learn about medicines that are not considered part of Western medicine,” says Prof. Loughead. “It is a true gift to have Ann Marie share her knowledge, wisdom, and life experiences about ceremony, cultural practices, and medicine from an Ojibwe Nation’s perspective.”

The lecture is presented in co-operation with the Nanadagikenim: Seek to Know Grant, designed and moderated by the Centre for Teaching and Learning and funded by the Office of the Provost to support and promote Indigenous curriculum and pedagogy. The grant was created in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s call to take constructive action in healing relationships through action, education and the creation of more equitable and inclusive opportunities.

The Faculty of Human Kinetics Equity Committee is encouraging attendance at Thursday’s presentation.

“The Faculty of Human Kinetics is committed to Indigenizing aspects of our academic curriculum and non-academic programming in keeping with Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s calls to action to Indigenize education,” says committee member Sandra Ondracka. “We are excited about opportunities like this and the positive impact it will have on our faculty, students, and community.”

The lecture will be presented online Jan. 14 from 10 to 11:20 a.m. To register, visit the CTL registration page. Learn more about Proulx-White’s educational consulting practice on her Facebook page.

—Martin Vaughan

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