Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Excellent book - Hollow Tree: Fighting addiction with traditional native healing

Hollow Tree: Fighting addiction with traditional native healing
by Herb Nabigon

Hollow Tree tells the story of Herb Nabigon’s personal healing journey. The book begins with his life as a young child growing up in Pic Mobert First Nation and the time he spent attending residential school. His time in residential school left Herb feeling lost and disconnected, feelings that were compounded by the loss of his mother. After a period of time spent drifting from job to job, and numbing his pain under a veil of alcohol abuse, Herb began to be drawn back to his cultural and spiritual traditions. Many years spent exploring these traditions and teachings under the guidance of Elders helped Herb to recover from his alcohol addiction and discover a new way of understanding and valuing life.

This book is an excellent read. Herb discusses various teachings including Circle Teachings, the Sweatlodge, the Hub, the Medicine Wheel, the Pipe and the Medicines. Each teaching is woven so expertly into his story telling that you often don’t even notice the underlying lesson until you’ve finished reading. I sat down to flip through this book as a possible resource for my MA thesis, and ended up reading the entire book in one sitting! The book is an excellent resource on traditional healing practices, and also a poignant and often funny account of a personal healing journey. A truly inspirational story of honouring life - to be enjoyed and shared.

Herb Nabigon is an Elder from Pic River First Nation and is a member of the Loon Clan within the Ojibway Nation. He is also a Professor in the Native Human Services Social Work program at Laurentian University.

Herb's blog can be found at: where he shares different teachings all aimed to help people know “minobimadiziwin” – the good life.

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