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Neurodecolonization, Mindfulness, and the Medicine Wheel: An Indigenous model of traditional wellness
February 1, 2021 at 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
The Centre for Mindful Engagement, Indigenous Education UBC,and the UBC Eminence Cluster of Research Excellence in Culture, Creativity, Health, and Wellbeing are pleased to welcome Dr. Michael Yellow Bird, Dean and Professor of the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Manitoba, to speak at a virtual event on February 1, 2021.
The Medicine Wheel is a symbol used to represent wholeness, balance, and the natural cycles of life. It consists of a circle with four quadrants: mind, body, spirit, and emotions. In his presentation, Dr. Yellow Bird will discuss how our wellness can be improved by combining Indigenous and western evidenced-based sciences into the Medicine Wheel to examine how decolonizing our mindfulness practices, movement, sleep, humour, collectivism, mild biogenetic stress, fasting, environment, genes, food, and beliefs can improve our wellness.
About the Speaker
Michael Yellow Bird, MSW, PhD, is Dean and Professor of the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Manitoba. He is an enrolled member of the MHA Nation (Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara) in North Dakota, USA. He has held faculty and administrative appointments at the University of British Columbia, University of Kansas, Arizona State University, Humboldt State University, and North Dakota State University. His research focuses on the effects of colonization and methods of decolonization, ancestral health, intermittent fasting, Indigenous mindfulness, neurodecolonization, mindful decolonization, and the cultural significance of Rez dogs. He is the founder, director, and principal investigator of The Centre for Mindful Decolonization and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba. He serves as a consultant, trainer, and senior advisor to several BIPOC mindfulness groups and organizations who are seeking to incorporate mindfulness practices, philosophies, and activities to Indigenize and decolonize western mindfulness approaches in order to address systemic racism and engage in structural change.
He is the author of numerous scholarly articles, book chapters, research reports, and the co-editor of four books: For Indigenous Eyes Only: The Decolonization Handbook, 2005; For Indigenous Minds Only: A Decolonization Handbook, 2012; Indigenous Social Work around the World: towards Culturally Relevant Education and Practice, 2008; and Decolonizing Social Work, 2013. Choice Magazine, selected Decolonizing Social Work as a 2014 Choice Outstanding Academic Title. Choice Outstanding Titles are given extraordinary recognition by the academic community and are designated to be “the best of the best.” He is the co-author of two recent books,: A Sahnish (Arikara) Ethnobotany (2020), and Decolonizing Holistic Pathways Towards Integrative Healing in Social Work (2021). His most recent co-authored mindfulness article, Defunding Mindfulness: While We Sit on Our Cushions, Systemic Racism Runs Rampant (October, 2020), can be found at: https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/3715-perspectives-defunding-mindfulness-while-we-sit-on-our-cushions-systemic-racism-runs-rampant