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Failure to appreciate the importance of indigenous belief and practice lies behind the limited success of various Western health interventions in the Third World.

 Cluny and La’avasa Macpherson (Samoa)

So reads this morning’s offering from Native Wisdom for White Minds. As NAIDOC week unfolds I reflect on the various indigenous remedies I have used to keep minor ailments at bay. Recently I have ministered to folk who are augmenting mainstream medicine for serious life-threatening illness with bush remedies that have stood the test of thousands of years – to good effect.

The reconciliation process presumes an openness to sharing wisdom. The heavy handedness of the Northern Territory intervention over recent years has failed to appreciate this. At least now there is an acknowledgement of the need to “consult” with eldership groups in remote communities. Whether this will allow enough space to listen to the Aboriginal wisdom of holistic approaches to indigenous health challenges remains to be seen.