An Aboriginal Experience of Transformation

Jack McDonald


The author presents a personal narrative of a boyhood disconnected from others, and feeling depressed in mood. Rather than a psychiatric intervention, his great aunt convinced his mother to have him follow his undiscovered aboriginal path, which confronted his feelings of low self-worth and low self-esteem. His uncle was a guide of the sweat ceremonies in rural Alberta, and the author participated in these, which included the teachings of his people and regard for the earth and all its creatures. The experience was tansformational, and he never again was toubled by feelings of low self-worth. Jack McDonald is an advocate for urban aboriginal people of Canada. He walked barefoot for forty miles along the Trans-Canada Highway during the 1995 Walk Against Poverty.

(This article first appeared in Satir Journal: Transformational Systemic Therapy, Vol. 2, no. 1, 2008, pp. 109-115, by permission of author)

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