The involvement of Indigenous Elders in their communities promotes the cultural safety and identity of Indigenous people and the cultural competence of stakeholders and organizations, reducing inequities in health by adopting a holistic approach.
Elders transmit language and culture to younger generations; they volunteer, teach, and act as role models. They are community organisers, storytellers, and are often consulted as experts by institutions within and outside their communities. They are craftspeople and artisans, caretakers and healers.
Showing the proven benefits of Elder social participation, this Toolkit also offers recommendations for Elder consultation in the development and provision of policies and services.
What we’ve found:
Elders ensure traditional knowledge transmission and strengthen social cohesion within their communities. They contribute to developing positive attitudes everywhere around them through concepts like maintaining reciprocity.
On individual and collective levels, their contributions have promising outcomes in a holistic approach to wellness. Their actions bring about benefits for disease prevention, health promotion, favour the acceptability of health and social services, and promote the inclusion of traditional approaches to health care and social services.
Elders develop cultural products to promote collective identity. The participation of Indigenous Elders in communication between generations and cultures can play a major role in enhancing the wellness of people and communities.