Giizhig bruce barry

If you are a visual learner, like most Indigenous peoples, you have likely doodled spontaneously to help you concentrate when in class or even during a discussion. The ability to create art by making art creation accessible in all Indigenous communities can be a productive and non-threatening way for Native American Youth to access emotional support and healing. Learning new ways of expression builds trust and communication especially while also preserving cultural practices and values. Lack of access to art making resources, and sometimes stigma around mental illness, remains a barrier but both can be detached with increased support and funding thus making a brighter future for both Indigenous Youth and their communities.
Art as a form of response to the world and its garish parts, sometimes called ‘therapy’, is in fact a wholistic approach to healing that has existed for centuries in many Indigenous Native American tribes. In traditional cultures, art has for a long time been a way to connect with the sacred part of our being, and thus promote emotional and spiritual well-being. At the end of the day, it is obvious that Indigenous visual language has, for centuries, been a shield against the pressure of dominant cultures.
Whenever one engages in any form of structured, or unstructured art, the focus is always on the process of creating art – not just the final product. My ART RULES are based on this:
Basically upon reflection of ones own experience most can see that through the act of making art individuals can access their subconscious and release emotions that may be difficult to express in words, especially in the spoken language of a dominant culture. The creative process of ‘art making’ can be therapeutic in itself, providing a safe and nonjudgmental space for exploring difficult emotions.
Again, storytelling, and traditional ceremonies are established healing practices forming a successful integration that promotes a sense of balance and harmony between the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of Youth as they grow and mature.
Developing visual expression is also a form of self-care that can be practiced outside of therapeutic settings. Whether it's doodling, painting, or making crafts, engaging in the creative process can bring a sense of calm and release to Youths daily lives.
Art making can connect with the natural rhythms of the earth and a way to honour ancestors, and promote resilience in those who have faced adversity by tapping into their inner strength and developing coping techniques that honour their culture. Equipping Youth with a voice can foster a sense of control and empowerment in their everyday life by allowing them to express their emotions in a tangible way, utilized to support the healing journey of Indigenous people.