Let the Land Heal You
Colonization has affected Indigenous communities and created a major shift in Indigenous ways of being,
knowing, and doing. This letter explores how colonization has caused trauma for Indigenous communities,
specifically Dene men in the Northwest Territories. As a Dene woman and current student in a social work
program, I work to uphold my responsibility to learn and be a resource to my people. In this letter, I will
discuss the impacts of colonization on Dene men as a source of trauma, and the importance of returning
to the land to heal oneself through Dene practices. I begin by discussing Dene people’s relationship to
the land as conveyed through our Creation Story. Next, I provide an overview of Dene experiences of
colonization and systemic oppression. I then reflect on healing our historical trauma by returning to the
land and allowing the land to heal us through ceremony.
Keywords: Colonization, trauma, Dene
Copyright (c) 2020 Charlene Menacho
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Authors contributing to the Artbutus Review agree to release their articles under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 Unported license. This licence allows anyone to share their work (copy, distribute, transmit) and to adapt it for non-commercial purposes provided that appropriate attribution is given, and that in the event of reuse or distribution, the terms of this license are made clear.
Authors retain copyright of their work and grant the journal right of first publication.
Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.