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Identify similarities relating to Mindfulness and to Indigenous Knowledge

- How is mindfulness related to indigenous knowledge?

Bhagwan, R., & Chan, C. L. (2014). Indigenous spirituality: An introduction.

Journal of Religion & Spirituality in Social Work,33(1), 1-3.

This article provides a different perspective on what can be defined as

‘Indigenous’ spirituality than what much of the western research presents. Mindfulness,

as mentioned in the article, is presented as an Indigenous spirituality in that is

indigenous to parts of Asia. While the scope of this article falls into the field of Social

Work, suggesting that workers need a wider understanding of spirituality, it also

provides a necessary reframing of spirituality that generally falls outside of a

westernized ideology. Other examples of Indigenous spirituality are interwoven with

lifestyle and cultural practices and need to be acknowledged. This article falls somewhat

outside the scope of this project, but does bring additional information into the


Capel, C. (2014). Mindfulness, Indigenous knowledge, Indigenous innovations

and entrepreneurship. Journal of Research in Marketing and

Entrepreneurship,16(1), 63-83.

Capel’s article provides meaningful insight into the link between mindfulness and

Indigenous knowledge. Aside from the pieces that are specific to management and

entrepreneurship, many of the preliminary research, definitions and findings are crucial

in cultivating the link between mindfulness and Indigenous knowledge. Capel is careful

to not appropriate either concept on the other and purports that “ a proactive alertness

to and consideration of context and perspective underpin the concept of mindfulness ”

Annotated Bibliography - Mindfulness and Indigenous Knowledge - Version 2 - April 2019
(p. 64). As such, though mentioning the indigenous contexts worldwide, Capel focuses

on the Indigenous knowledge of Australia and New Zealand. Capel also mentions the

colonial aspect of most research, and the history of Indigenous knowledge’s

discreditation. The link between Indigenous knowledge and mindfulness is quite explicit

in this piece, and it is stated that “the multiple perspectives approach to [Indigenous

knowledge]...mirrors the mindfulness principle of awareness and consideration of

different perspectives and contextual differences” (p. 66). This article provides

meaningful history, context and further steps for finding the connection between

mindfulness and Indigenous knowledge and is a worthwhile read for this project, despite

its secondary focus on entrepreneurship.

Hoffman, R. (2010). Perspectives on health within the teachings of a gifted Cree

elder. Pimatisiwin: A Journal of Aboriginal and Indigenous Community

Health,8(1), 19-31.

Rick Hoffman presents pieces of wisdom and guidance he received from his

friend. Hoffman’s account of Joe P. Cardinal and his wisdom provides great insight into

Cree teachings and draws parallels to many of the pillars of mindfulness. Some of

Cardinal’s key teachings include taking ownership of the journey, understanding that the

self can be the enemy, and learning by doing. The section, entitled “The Journey from

the Heart to the Mind Can Be a Long One” provides interesting concepts of Indigenous

knowledge that could be compared to many of the ideals of mindfulness.

Annotated Bibliography - Mindfulness and Indigenous Knowledge - Version 2 - April 2019
Le, T. N., & Gobert, J. M. (2015). Translating and implementing a

mindfulness-based youth suicide prevention intervention in a Native

American community. Journal of Child and Family Studies,24(1), 12-23.

Le & Gobert present an interesting link between mindfulness and suicide

prevention in this 2015 article. While the focus is more on working with youth, between

the ages of 15 and 20, this research is still valuable for the project and makes some

important connections and the implementation of mindfulness within school programing.

There are many mentions of mindfulness and its similarities to tribal and traditional

ways. The researchers also brought up the interesting point that it is possible for

mindfulness to be used as suicide prevention because it carries with it less of a stigma

than other mental health interventions. The authors explain that throughout the project it

became “apparent that mindfulness is an indigenous way, and this research merely

recovered it” (p. 20).

Louis, D. W., Pratt, Y. P., Hanson, A. J., & Ottmann, J. (2017). Applying

indigenizing principles of decolonizing methodologies in university

classrooms. Canadian Journal of Higher Education,47(3), 16-33.

This paper presents a case study of several Indigenous professors at the

University of Calgary in their attempt to Indigenize their curriculum and teachings. The

professors utilize the 25 Indigenous principles laid out by Maori scholar Linda Tuhiwai

Smith as a framework for how to go about this process. The basic premise of the paper

is that current practices compromise the well-being of Indigenous students resulting in

lower achievement and completion rates, as well as other issues. While the paper does

Annotated Bibliography - Mindfulness and Indigenous Knowledge - Version 2 - April 2019
not explicitly use the term mindfulness it provides necessary context for the

implementation of Indigenous knowledge in the university classroom. Additional, the

section Remember, Claiming, and Connecting (p. 23) provides striking parallels

between mindfulness and Indigenous healing practices.

Nez, V. (2018). Diné epistemology: Sa'ah naaghai bik'eh hozhoon teachings.

Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (2103867103).

Vangee Nez’s dissertation provides insight into the Diné epistemological concept

of Sa'ah naaghai bik'eh hozhoon (SNBH). This dissertation is particularly useful as the

author equates SNBH to mindfulness throughout, and has a specific section of research

that includes interviews with important Diné elders on their own mindfulness practices

and links to their indigenous heritage. “SNBH practice is to live in the moment, to be

mindful, to be compassionate, akin to Buddhist way of knowing” (p. 149). While this

piece focuses on the Diné of Arizona, many of the sources used for research may

potentially be useful for this project including the work of Yellow Bird (2013), Cajete

(2015), and Sium & Ritskes (2013). Nez received a doctorate of philosophy from the

University of New Mexico and currently works in the Department of Diné Education at

the University of New Mexico.

Pearkes, E. D. (2008). Full Circle. Ascent Magazine, 40(Winter), 12-16.

Full Circle provides a personal and in-depth look at Pearkes’ own yoga and

meditation practice. This article, part of a series, focuses on svadhyaya, the self-study.

Annotated Bibliography - Mindfulness and Indigenous Knowledge - Version 2 - April 2019
Many connections are made between Pearkes’ practice and nature, with metaphors

given to relate to mountain, eagle, and tree. While there is no explicit mention of

Indigenous knowledge, many mentions of earth and nature suggest some links.

Pearkes practices Iyengar yoga in BC and mentions the parallels of working through an

eastern practice in a very Northern, Western context.

Sasakamoose, J., Bellegarde, T., Sutherland, W., Pete, S., & McKay-McNabb, K.

(2017). Miýo-pimātisiwin developing Indigenous Cultural Responsiveness

Theory (ICRT): Improving Indigenous health and well-being. The

International Indigenous Policy Journal,8(4), 1-16.

Sasakamoose et al. present a model of healing and wellness that weaves

together Indigenous knowledge and scholarship with the needs of the people. The

model centers on four key concepts: middle ground, two-eyed seeing,

neurodecolonization, and culture-based healing . It is neurodecolonization provides the

key link to mindfulness and uses the work of Michael Yellow Bird. The authors use the

concept of ‘Culture-as-Intervention’ to affect colonial residue and are clear that although

each Indigenous community has its own knowledge, beliefs, and teachings, there are

many unified concepts to be shared. This article provides interesting insight into the

methodology behind creating a wellness program that incorporates Indigenous

knowledge along with mindfulness.

Annotated Bibliography - Mindfulness and Indigenous Knowledge - Version 2 - April 2019
Schiff, J., & Moore, K. (2006). The impact of the sweat lodge ceremony on

dimensions of well-being. American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health

Research,13(3), 48-69.

Schiff and Moore’s article outlines the benefits of sweat lodges to a variety of

different aspects of both physical and mental well-being. While some have compared its

benefits to group therapy, the authors point out that this comparison misses the

important spiritual aspect of the sweat. The authors stress the important of having

Indigenous people involved in the planning and implementation of such programs. The

research used the Heroic Myth Index (HMI) to measure spirituality and emotional well-

being and found that there was, in fact, a change in spirituality and well-being levels

when participating in a sweat lodge. While the article never explicitly mentioned

mindfulness, the methodology and use of the HMI is helpful in exploring to what extent

mindfulness and well-being can be measured and how successful programs may be.

Yellow Bird, M. (2013). Neurodecolonization: Applying mindfulness research to

decolonizing social work. In Decolonizing Social Work (1st ed., pp. 293-

310). London: Routledge.

This chapter presents the fascinating concept of neurodecolonization, that is,

using “mindfulness research to facilitate an examination of ways in which the human

brain is affected by the colonial situation and an exploration of mind-brain activities that

change neural networks and enable individuals to overcome the myriad effects of

trauma and oppression inherent in colonialism” (p. 293). Yellow Bird brings up the

important point that mindfulness is seen as both personal, but also part of the collective

Annotated Bibliography - Mindfulness and Indigenous Knowledge - Version 2 - April 2019
as building self-awareness then allows you to better the world around you. While the

chapter discusses the use of mindfulness in the realm of social work rather than

education, it presents very interesting and meaningful connections between Indigenous

knowledge and mindfulness. Yellow Bird is a professor at North Dakota State

University, and also has a website on Indigenous Mindfulness


Annotated Bibliography - Mindfulness and Indigenous Knowledge - Version 2 - April 2019