Aistimatoom: the embodiment of Blackfoot prayer as wellness

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Grier, Angela
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education.
The purpose of this thesis was to identify culturally appropriate means of engaging with Blackfoot and Indigenous clients seeking counselling. Blackfoot prayer is symbolic of the entire sacred worldview and universe of the Blackfoot people. This research intended for a holistic understanding of wellness to emerge from the study of Aatsimoiskaan (Prayer). This thesis employed an Indigenous research paradigm to ensure that the methodology was culturally appropriate. The research question was, “What does prayer say about wellbeing?” The researcher interviewed four members of sacred societies within the Blackfoot Confederacy. The interviews were qualitative and interpreted hermeneutically. The research identified five aspects of Blackfoot wellness to guide clients towards living a meaningful Indigenous life. Prayer provides practitioners with: 1) key ingredients of Blackfoot citizenry; 2) co-creation and autonomy in self healing; 3) decolonization of identity, self, and life; 4) conscious purpose; and 5) healthy identity formation. The findings of this research have practical use for counsellors who work directly with Indigenous clients. Any changes in practice and program delivery, which include these findings, will result in better outcomes for Indigenous, specifically Blackfoot, people seeking counsel.
Orthodox Blackfoot Culture, includes four elder interview in appendices
wellness , Orthodox Blackfoot Culture , Indigenous peoples , counseling , Indigenous studies , prayer , religious education