Let the Land Heal You

  • Charlene Menacho University of Victoria
Keywords: historical trauma; land-based healing; ceremony; colonization; Dene


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


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