Online Program

Wisdom of the Elders

Monday, November 4, 2013: 12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Throughout Indigenous communities, Elders are accorded a central role as the primary source of cultural knowledge. Respected Elders serve as the philosophers, professors and visionaries of a cultural community. As one of the primary sources of traditional cultural knowledge, Native Elders bear the responsibility to share and pass on that knowledge in ways that are compatible with traditional teachings and practices. One of the greatest strengths of Indigenous communities is the reliance placed on the wisdom of Native Elders. The Native worldview defines health as a balance of the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of an individual or group being. Elders provide advice in the area of health, medicine and other life ways. Many use Traditional Medicine as complementary to modern Western Medicine. Public health programs are increasingly utilizing the teachings of Elders to improve the health Native populations.
Session Objectives: Define ways Elders formulate, document, and share traditional cultural knowledge for future generations. Discuss how the use of traditional ways of knowing, teaching, listening, and learning contributes to passing on cultural knowledge to others in the community. Discuss appropriate traditional protocols to be used in the interpretation and utilization of cultural knowledge in public health programs. Identify the Elders role to assist members of the community to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to assume the role of Elder for future generations. Discuss how Elders assist Native communities in learning the skills needed to improve the health of the individual, family and community.

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Organized by: American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Caucus
Endorsed by: HIV/AIDS