(Personal discussion, Gertie Beaucage, February 2023)
Life promotion is not about indigenizing suicide prevention and having access to another Nations traditions and practices of connecting to Spirit, because you have to believe in your own way of life and your own relationship.
You need to follow your own pathways in a way that makes sense to you. Just practising another persons connection isn’t life promotion, its appropriation.
Organizations need to recognize there’s always a way to help people and not be afraid to bring Spirit into the work.
In the best of worlds life promotion and feasting the Spirit should be intended. Every person has to know their intentions so that people aren’t “accidently” feeding spirit and don’t even know it. If we learn to feed our Spirit early on in life then people have a tendency to grow…
When we are living isolated, no friends, no community, always on-line, blame everyone else and everything - this is the way that people are who have not been given an opportunity to know their own Spirit and will look for ways to feed their own Spirit with drugs, alcohol, abusive relationships because they don’t know. Then they look at life and say “there’s nothing here for me.
For Anishinaabe, we have been told “the voice of the land is in our language” so when we go out looking for that language we feed our Spirit being with the land.
Outward bound can be a life promotion approach, like sleeping on the ground, that relationship to the earth. The land is a powerful feast for the Spirit ie. clean water is a powerful feast for the Spirit, when depressed people stop bathing, helping them to have a shower could be life promotion.
With youth they feel a lot of stress and anxiety and ‘don’t know how to deal with it’ because they haven’t been taught.
In other countries, children learn to do yoga/taichi and breathing these are life promotion examples that help children and skills they have when they become youth and young adults. A simple process of movement in contrast to being taught to “sit still” on hard chairs or floors in school.
We need to be able to move beyond the rigidity of western, eurocentric and capitalist relationality to the spirit, because the human being did not start out that way.
We are at a time when we must collectively acknowledge the distress of the earth and the people. We need to figure out how we as humans came to make such horrific decisions for our selves and the earth that sustains us.