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Prayer with pain: Ceremonial suffering among the Mi'kmaqThere are many ways to pray amongst Native American and First Nations, but considered the most ‘powerful’ are those that involve an element of physical suffering that can be regarded as gifts to ‘spirit’ and understood in the context that when something is asked for – visions, healing, etc. – then something must be given in exchange in order to restore the balance and promote respectful relationships. Prayer with pain in a ceremonial context, linking the individual to community, transforms personal suffering into empowerment gained through a shared healing experience.
Walking in balance: Native American recovery programmesThis article reviews Native American ritual practices, frameworks and key concepts employed by several substance abuse treatments centres in the U.S. and Canada. It also examines the way Alcoholics Anonymous’ Twelve Step programme has been modified to attract and serve the needs of Native Americans and First Nations and its potential impact on the ritual practices. Native concepts of wellbeing are highlighted and linked to the idea of living in “balance”.