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The African immigrants use of traditional healing practices as part of their process of resettlement… Cheboud, Elias Assefa 1998

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T H E A F R I C A N I M M I G R A N T S U S E O F T R A D I T I O N A L H E A L I N G P R A C T I C E S A S P A R T O F T H E I R P R O C E S S O F R E S E T T L E M E N T I N T O C A N A D I A N S O C I E T Y by E L I A S A S S E F A C H E B O U D B . S . W . , Univers i ty of V ic to r i a , 1996 A T H E S I S S U B M I T T E D I N P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T O F T H E R E Q U I R E M E N T S F O R T H E D E G R E E O F M A S T E R O F S O C I A L W O R K I N T H E F A C U L T Y O F G R A D U A T E S T U D I E S T H E S C H O O L O F S O C I A L W O R K W e accept this thesis as conforming to^he r e q u i r e d j t ^ p ^ d ^ T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A M A Y , 1998 Copyr ight El ias Assefa Cheboud, 1998 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada / DE-6 (2/88) II A B S T R A C T The purpose of this research was to investigate what traditional healing practices A f r i c a n immigrants are using and have ceased to use, during the process o f resettlement into Canadian society. A n additional purpose was to investigate the participants' reasons for using or not using their traditional healing practices. One a im of the study was to provide information about these traditional differences and the ways i n which professionals i n the social service sector acknowledged Af r i can immigrants and have been helpful to them. Another a im of the study was to identify whether, and in what ways, professionals have been helpful. The study is important not only for social workers and human service professionals, but also for Af r i can immigrants themselves as we l l as for A f r i c a n immigrant communi ty groups wi th in V i c t o r i a . The Af r i can immigrants ' traditional practices and the ways in wh ich they adapt and resettle into the new society remain unknown in the literature. Perhaps, the A f r i c a n immigrants common challenges and their unique traditional approach to resettlement into the Canadian society have not yet captured the fu l l attention o f social work and human service professionals. This study was grounded in structural theory, migration theory, settlement theory and adaptation theory in order to draw theoretical understanding of the relationship between immigrants resettlement process and their experiences. The research was qualitative and exploratory. It included a participatory interview design. Twenty Af r i can immigrants from five different regions of A f r i c a participated in the study. T w o distinct traditional practices were identified (i.e. material tradition and non material tradition) wh ich are the foundation o f A f r i c a n immigrants traditional healing practices. This research has found that the use or abstention of traditional healing practices in re-settlement depends on the participants reasons for migration. There were distinct differences in the use or I l l non-use of traditional healing practices between those who planned (economic), and those who were forced (political) to migrate T A B L E OF CONTENTS Abstract Table of Content List of Figures Acknowledgment Introduction Defini t ions Rationale of the Study Purpose of the Study Importance of the Study Organizat ion o f the Study Chapter One Literature Rev iew Introduction A f r i c a n Mater ia l Culture A f r i c a n N o n Mater ia l Culture Chapter Two Theory Introduction Structural Theory M i g r a t i o n Theory Settlement Theory Adaptat ion Theory The Theoretical Interaction Chapter Three Methodology Research Questions Introduction Sample Cri ter ia for Selection of Participants Entry to Af r i can Communi ty Characteristics of Participants Data Col lec t ion Ana lys i s o f the Data E th ica l Considerations L imi t a t i on and Del imi ta t ion Implications for Further Research V Chapter Four The Data 50 Central Af r i can Participants 50 East Af r i can Participants 57 West Af r i can Participants 65 Southern A f r i c a n Participants 72 Nor th Af r i can Participants 78 Chapter Five Ana lys i s 84 Introduction 84 Tradi t ional Hea l ing in A f r i c a 85 Individual 85 The Fami ly 86 The Communi ty 88 The Tribe 89 A f r i c a n Immigrants Tradi t ional Hea l ing Practices i n Canada 89 Chapter Six Discuss ion and Recommendations 95 Introduction 95 Discuss ion of Participants Responses 95 Conc lus ion 110 Recommendations 112 References 114 Appendices 119 Append ix A Interview Questions 119 Append ix B Letter of Explanat ion 120 Append ix C Advertisement 122 Append ix D Consent 123 Append ix E Certificate of A p p r o v a l 125 LIST OF FIGURES FIGURE 1 Current M a p of Af r i can FIGURE 2 Settlement Indicators FIGURE 3 Theoretical Interaction VII Acknowledgment I wou ld l ike to thank the fo l lowing people and organization for their support, encouragement, and participation. I am grateful to my wife 's understanding, acceptance and cooperation's. Without her support, helping me type and organize, I would never get this far. Thank you for putting up with me. I also owe a great thanks to my children for their understanding and love when I was not there to be with them especially towards the end of this research. I w o u l d l ike to thank Professor. D a v i d Turner, Brandy Macpherson, and Dr . Les l i e B r o w n from Univers i ty of V ic to r i a , School of Soc ia l W o r k , for their supports. I also wou ld l ike to extend my thanks to D r . Ph i l l i p Cook , Dr . Dolores Stanley, and D r . Francis A d u - F e b i r i for their valuable consultation time and for making their resources available to me. M o s t o f a l l , I wou ld l ike to thank the members of my committee Professor Roopchand Seebaran, D r . Richard Sul l ivan and Dr . Honore ' France. Y o u r guidance, patience and challenges were significant • to the complet ion of this research. R o o p and Richard , you are my inspir ing mentors; the time you have spent reviewing my drafts, the encouragement, and the uncondit ional support were special to me. There are no words that I could describe how much I would l ike to say, "Thank Y o u " . Special thanks to Susan Co le -Marsha l l without whom I would have been financial ly bankrupt. M y thanks to L i s a Okada without w h o m I might never have managed typing the transcripts. Y o u r support and the time you spent helping me was special. I am grateful to a l l Af r i can immigrants who participated i n this research. Thank you for making this project possible. I wou ld also l ike to indicate my appreciation to the Inter-cultural Associa t ion of Greater V ic to r i a , Settlement Department staff for their feedback, tolerance, and support. Special thanks to T o m o k o Okada who is the coordinator of the department for her unconditional support and encouragement. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian | Society Introduction I was born and raised in East Af r i ca , in a country called Ethiopia . His tor ica l ly , "Eth iopia is a home of invaluable archeological discoveries; let alone the magnificent church monasteries and mosques" (Ethiopia Tour i sm, V i d e o ) that provide harmony amongst the people regardless of their ethnic and tribal identities. y Ethiopia , l ike most Af r i can countries, holds many ethnic groups whose traditions, languages, and beliefs are distinct from one another. W i t h i n the ethnic groups, there are many tribes who also have unique characteristics where their moral codes, values, beliefs, and dialects are specific. In other words, the tribal attributes differentiate the indiv idual and/or the community from the other tribal groups. Because of such distinctions, most Ethiopians heavily rely on their tribal and ethnic members for their personal and social well-beings. The ethnic groups and tribes wi th in , have existed for thousands of years. This is the society that I was raised i n ; a society that is multicultural i n its nature, mul t i - l ingual , multi-faith, and multi-tones of skin color. Relat ively, everyone has l ived in peace and harmony unti l 1974. In 1974 the country went through poli t ical turmoil . It was this time where thousands o f Northern Ethiopians were neglected by the monarchy administration wh ich resulted i n the most disastrous famine in Ethiopian history. A s a result, different kinds of social act ivism evolved. One was led by high schools, colleges, and university students who were less powerful . The other on the other hand, was led by more structured and powerful mil i tary elite. Bo th Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Pari of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 2 Society groups (the students and the mili tary) were fighting to change the socio-economic and the pol i t ica l structure of the country, so the citizens of E th iop ia cou ld access equally the social , economic, and pol i t ica l distribution . The movement was supported by al l because the citizens were aware of the need to change the power structure of the landlords (feudal), bourgeoisie, and the monarchy. However the support as w e l l as the process shifted to a mili tary group who at that time had the means and the power to make the changes happen. A t this point, the power struggle surfaced between the mili tary and the students to the degree where the pol i t ica l differences undermined the in i t ia l purposes. Bo th sides (the intellectuals and the mil i tary) c la imed that they were fighting to make the country a better place. Ye t , one used a pen to seek support from its ci t izen and achieve the goals, whereas the other used deadly weapons to convince its citizens. The pol i t ica l differences as we l l as the means they used to achieve the goals have resulted in rapid and deadly changes on the lives of Ethiopians. This sudden change in. government destroyed the nation's historical traditions and the l ivel ihoods o f ethnic, tribes as w e l l as communities. People from al l ethnic groups and tribes were terrorized, imprisoned, and k i l l ed for reasons most d id not even know. A s a result, people in general became suspicious of one another; they lost confidence, trust, and faith. These feelings were not only towards their tribal and ethnic members but also to their extended families as we l l . Suddenly, everyone lost his or her tribal and communal connections out of fear. Elias Cheboud. 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 3 Society Those who managed to survive the brutal action of the government have escaped and migrated out of the country. I was a refugee in another country where the only difference between the people and myself in that country was language. Everything else was more or less the same as my own tradition. Some of us (I am referring to myself and people I know ) immigrated into the western countries. I came to Canada with physical, psychological, arid emotional scars as a result of my experiences in my home country. In other words, upon my arrival to Canada, I was in the victim role. Nevertheless, my purpose in coming to Canada was only to seek safety and security keeping in mind that as soon as the dictatorial government of my country leaves power, I was to return home. However, this intent over the years became unreal to me. Today, I am happily married, and have children living with me here in Canada. Looking back on my experience, the first three months of my stay in Canada was very difficult for the following reasons. First, I was unable to see a person of my color in a city that I first resided and as a result, I was so afraid; second, I was unable to understand the cultural dynamics of the people when I did things the only way I knew. For example, greeting, bowing, and my attempt to hug were often looked upon as being strange. These have added confusion, loneliness, and stress on me. Third, my attempt to get to know my neighbors had caused them discomfort because I was not invited to do so. Finally, because men in my tradition don't say much, Canadian friends regarded my silence as weird. Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 4 Society Therefore, my experiences with Canadians at times have contradicted my tradition. These experiences however, have taught me a lesson to respect and appreciate traditional differences (i.e. what was right in my culture was not right in Canada). Eventually, I integrated into the labor market, the community, and the society at large. Throughout the years I have been in Canada, I mostly worked, in human service sectors (hospitals, social service agencies, and provincial government offices). Nevertheless, throughout these experiences I do not feel that I have changed my traditional values, beliefs, and behavioral characteristics that shaped who I am. Instead, I learned to meet the expectations of the society. After all it was my choice to live in Canada and therefore, I have to conform. The conformity however was not an easy process. It was in fact a great struggle. The sense of loneliness, isolation and helplessness was difficult to overcome for three reasons. First, I was not able to find a reference point to my tradition so I could feel safe to practice; second; I was unable to find a community that I could identify with (African community). Finally, I never felt understood by social service professionals because of my cultural attributes, color, and my level of English skill when I attempted to seek services. Through my life and work experience here in Canada, I have observed African immigrants experiencing similar struggles in resettlement. There is a gap of knowledge that I have witnessed within social work professionals as to how to serve African immigrants. Similarly, Canadian society too, is unaware of the Elias Cheboud, 1998 The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 5 Society African immigrant's strength, and challenges. In my experience, it seems that African immigrants are treated on the basis of their ability to integrate and achieve the societal expectation. Perhaps the lack of literature dealing with African immigrant and their resettlement process into Canadian society enforce such societal perceptions. I have shared experiences with fellow Africans on many occasions. After sharing and witnessing these experiences, I became interested in studying the African immigrants' traditional healing practices which they use and /or ceased to use in their process of resettlement into Canadian society. Definitions African Immigrant: refers to a person whose country of origin is Africa and who has a permanent resident status here in Canada. Traditional Healing Practice: refers to the African immigrants' traditional/cultural skills, knowledge and experiences used to keep/secure their well-being. These include methods of crisis intervention, techniques used to resolve conflict, processes for treating ill health, and the customs which define their values, beliefs, and moral standards. Process of Re-Settlement: refers to a process by which one willingly attempts to adapt and belong to a new environment. Re-settlement is not the same as integration; integration is not a personal choice, it is rather the societal structural expectation where the individual ability to conform to the larger society is measured. Elias Chebo id, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 6 Society Rationale of the study Afr i can immigrants may use traditional healing practices during and after the process of resettlement in the new society. I chose to study traditional healing practices i n order to differentiate this research from other existing cultural studies, and to stress the significant role that tradition plays on the l ives o f A f r i c a n immigrants resettlement process. Purpose of the study The purpose of the research was to investigate what traditional healing practices A f r i c a n immigrants are using and have ceased to use during the process o f resettlement into Canadian society. A n additional purpose was to investigate the participants' reasons for using or not using their traditional healing practices A s an Af r i can immigrant myself, I depend upon my tradition and the healing techniques to cope wi th my resettlement. Because I am an Af r i can immigrant and a social worker, I feel it is important for social workers to k n o w more about the A f r i c a n immigrants values, beliefs, and practices so they can be culturally sensitive in their efforts to help Af r i can immigrants resettle and adapt appropriately. The Af r i can immigrant 's psycho-social and economic felt-needs must be understood i f one wants to work effectively with them for two reasons. First , historical ly they were vict ims of oppression due to colonizat ion in their home countries, wi th the exception of Ethiopians and Liberians. Second, today, as immigrants, they may have been subjected to discrimination based on the Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 7 Society stereotypes that "Blacks" are assumed to be predominantly lazy or criminal by nature. I have personally been witness to this type of discrimination. These stereotypes obscure the positive and healthy abilities of these people as they strive to succeed in resettling into Canadian society. African immigrants should not be generalized or assumed to have the same tradition as other immigrants because most Africans are migrants by reason of political persecution. One aim of the study therefore, is to provide information about these traditional differences and the ways in which professionals in the social service sectors acknowledged African immigrants and have been helpful to them. Another aim of the study is to identify whether and in what ways professionals have been helpful. There is an enormous amount of information and numerous practice models relating to common immigrant issues, such as adaptation and language training. However, there is much that is unknown about African immigrants' traditional healing practices during and after their process of resettlement. Therefore, this study is an important starting point in developing knowledge on this subject about Africans in Victoria, Canada. I strongly believe that this knowledge would add and enhance cross-cultural understanding of professionals in the field of social work. Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian g Society Importance of the study The Study is important not only for social workers and human service professionals (i.e. health, education, and community) but also for A f r i c a n immigrants themselves as we l l as for Af r i can immigrant community groups wi th in V i c t o r i a . Soc ia l workers and human service professionals could enhance their level of awareness about Af r i can immigrants which could be useful when serving A f r i c a n immigrants. Af r i can immigrants also benefit from this study in two ways: One, they get the opportunity to share their tradition and Canadian experience in the process. T w o the results of the study may provide useful information for planning and organizing among the Af r i can immigrants. S imi la r ly , the exist ing Af r i can communities too could gain benefit from this research because the study has involved Af r i can immigrants from all five regions of A f r i c a . A c c o r d i n g to Ci t izenship and Immigration Canada, November 1997 Report, there are 1506 A f r i c a n immigrant residing in Vic to r i a , and 13,230 throughout Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a . However , they are not active as one community. Instead, they belong to smaller associations that are specific to their country o f origins; for example,: the Eritrean, Ethiopian , Somal ian , South Af r i can , and so on. These associations are informal and do not address social , economical , and pol i t ical issues. Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian Society Figure 1 Current Map of Africa (From http://vvfvvw.travelxom.hk/rfri-map MEDITERRAHEAH SEA I Mauritania Cape Verde Island '- Sen£gal\fv Gambia Gumea-Bissau—I Sierra Leone Liberia Cote iflvodK Burkina F as ^ Ghana-! SHTrarii^TSnqpB & r * 3 k m a l Guinea Ascension Rwanda Saint Helena ATLANTIC OCEAN Seychelles Burundi Comoros Islam Msurrh as cat Reunion NDIAN OC Swaziland Lesotho Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian \ Q Society Organization of the study Chapter one presents the theory. In chapter two the existing literature on African traditional healing practices is presented. The African irnmigrant struggle to build their community is also reflected. In addition three ethnic communities are discussed in order to stress the importance of building a community. Chapter three describes the research study and the methodology. Chapter four presents the data. Chapter five presents the analysis of the data. Chapter six presents the conclusion and recommendation of the research. Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 11 Society Chapter 1 Literature Review Introduction The African immigrants' traditional practices and the ways in which they adapt to the new society remain unknown in the literature. What is known is that: they seldom seek help; they are ambitious and dedicated people; they are also naturally shy and show a great respect for elders and authorities. This sometimes becomes problematic because such respect often gets misinterpreted by the host society (Behmia, 1993). African immigrants' common challenges and their unique traditional approach to resettlement into the Canadian society have not yet captured the full attention of social work professionals. This could be due to the fact that African immigrants are less numerous than other immigrants groups, and therefore are relatively less significant to the Canadian social, cultural, and economic fabric. A demographic picture of Canada's selection of immigrants reveals that Africans are the least numerically significant in Canadian groups of immigrants. For example, a glance at statistics indicates that in 1996 only 764 African immigrants were issued resident status in British Columbia while approximately 18,000 East Asians, 9,000 Middle Eastern, and 2,000 East European immigrants were granted resident status (Canada Immigration November 1996 p.3. report). Elias Chaboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 12 Society Perhaps, because most African immigrants have been forced to migrate due to political problems in their countries, they are numerically few in B.C. compared to citizens of other continents. This may mean that their motive to come to Canada was not to seek fortunes but freedom. For example,, from 1980 to 1996, the total number of people emigrating to B.C. from all continents totaled 470,694. Of these, 13,230 were from Africa. However, the largest group (6,040) of immigrants was from the South African Republic and due to apartheid, most likely of European or Asian origins and having little or no linguistic or cultural difficulty in resettling. The other 7,190 immigrants represent 46 African countries (Citizenship and Immigration Canada, no date of publication). Africans may face the disruptive and stressful nature of resettlement common to all immigrants. "The readjustment to a new culture is by no means a single event, but is a prolonged developmental process that will affect family members or individuals differently, depending on the life cycle phase they are in at the time of the transition" (Carter, 1989, p. 83). In the same way, the use of traditional healing practices for an African immigrant may depend on their age and life experience at the time of migration. The factors that should be considered when evaluating immigrants' resettlement process as Carter (1989), suggests, "are their life cycle stage at the time of immigration and circumstances that led them to migration" (p. 83). Therefore, the individual maturity or life cycle stages determine the use of traditional practice on ones resettlement process. Knowledge of tradition for Elias Cha'x>ud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian | 3 Society Africans is fundamental to survive. It is complex, because traditional practice includes knowledge, ski l ls , beliefs, morals, customs and habits learned by individuals or groups as members of an Af r i can society (Havi land, 1991). A f r i c a n traditional practices are drawn both from common material culture (i.e. a l l the artifacts, or objects Afr icans created and give meaning to) and c o m m o n non material culture (i.e. abstracts, rituals, beliefs, standards, ski l ls , myths, customs and family patterns). W h i c h o f the two (the vis ible or the invis ible) traditional practices they use to cope with their resettlement is a personal choice. Furthermore, it is difficult to generalize that al l Afr icans use traditional practices. It s imply depends on the individual goal and desire whether or not to incorporate traditional practice. In other words, integration seems to depend on the immigrants ' ability to conform. In fact, as NeuWir th (1997) indicate; , " it is important to keep in mind that integration is a mult i -dimensional concept encompassing at least three dimensions - the economic, social , and cultural spheres. What happens i n one sphere w i l l affect the immigrant ' s integration i n the other two spheres" (p.5). In addition, integration is difficult to evaluate because of its nature of comparison to a particular reference group (Neuwir th , 1997), (i.e. immigrant groups are judged in comparison to the larger society and to other immigrant groups). In order to convey an understanding of Af r i can traditions, I have presented below the vis ible (material culture)-and the invis ible (non-material culture) traditional practices as described in the literature.. Elias Chaboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 14 Society African Material Culture Material culture in this context refers to all physical objects Africans create and give significant meaning to, such as, totem poles, trees, masks and clothing. (Robertson, 1989) in order either to maintain or to retain the well-being of the individual, family, community, and/or society at large. The cultural diversity of Africans is complex and cannot be regarded as homogeneous. As a result, the enormous traditional differences among Africans cause difficulties for those who attempt to draw a generalized culture of Africans as a people of one continent. It is not surprising for one to find many customs, tribes, and traditions within a single country. At the same time, one can imagine the immensity of the cultures within the continent of Africa (Gelfand, 1964, Achebe, 1958, & Sarpong, 1974). Despite the-differences of tribal, regional, and/or national cultural attributes, the overall associations and significance of an object (i.e. mask, tree, and totem) for most Africans serve a common purpose (Murdock, 1980, & Katz, 1982). Examples of such purposes are to heal the body as well as the mind and soul; to strengthen the kinship, family and community relationship; to maximize productivity and to maintain their philosophy of life as defined (Lewis, 1997). The acquisition of both material culture and non-material culture in Africa takes place within the frame of a tribe, a clan, a family, and/or a community because the acquired knowledge, skills and values are distinctive to each of the above (Last and Chavunduka, 1986, & Haviland, 1991). Therefore, the tradition is Elias Chaboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 15 Society transmitted and absorbed through intense experiences. One of the reasons for the intensity of the experience is to influence the individual's healing power as well as to emphasize the core values within the group. Another reason is to safeguard the course of life events in the tribe, that is, to discourage undesirable or evil spirits (Gelfand, 1964). The use of these traditional healing objects "whether [they are] a drum, or a mask, or other figures is bound up with spirit rituals" (Sarpong, 1974, p. 98). The traditional material culture, particularly for the rural African is significant. It justifies the healer's or the elder's actions and intentions because the goal of using the object is to help those members or individuals to maintain the tribal social standards of well-being as well as to keep law and order, to treat ill health and to resolve conflicts. Africans, according to Gelfand (1964), use these traditional objects as a means "to cure the sick, to advise the members against misfortune and the many problems which crop up, in the tribes' ordinary life" (p.24). Although the knowledge and skills of the application are bound to the selected groups of individuals, the process of the healing practice involves the collective whole—through ceremony and rituals of their ancestors (Achebe, 1958). Since the purpose of the practice is to affect change on individual, family, and/or the community's undesirable behaviors, feelings, physical and spiritual reactions (illness), the participation and consultation of the tribe is important. The interpretation of conflict, crisis, illness, emotional distractions due to losses and the Elias Chaboud, 199!. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 16 Society overall absence of well-being are specific to the tribes. Though, the practice is more or less common to most Africans (Ackerkmechf, 1971). For example, the use of Africans' material cultures to resolve conflict not only differs from the West in practical application but also in the ways in which it is defined. For instance, conflict by the West is defined as, "an expressed struggle between at least two inter-dependent parties who perceive incompatible goals, scarce reward or resources of interference from the other party in achieving their goals" (Duryea, 1992, p. 5). This definition may be true for European concepts but is not necessarily accurate in regards to the Africans' concept. This is because the above definition of conflict does not fit the African definition of conflict. Conflict does exist in Africa but the definition is broader, and conflict involves the spirit as well as those of the person. Human disputes for Africans are always handled and resolved by "the art of reasoning", where the use of a healing object facilitates the outcome and is the means to correct or settle the issue in dispute (Haviland, 1991, p. 347-8). When a member of a tribe is in conflict with the spirit and ancestral principles, then the approach to resolve such emotional and psychological disputes is through a collective sacred ritual, mainly involving the elders of the community or tribe (Sullivan, 1989, p. 288). Therefore, whether the dispute is triggered by people or by the ancestral spirit, the ritual to help regain the well-being of the members (as defined by the tribe) involves the whole community. For example, the Elias Chaboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 17 Society spiritual or ancestral conflict may be displayed in the form of anxiety or change of individual behavior. This behavioral reaction might not be interpreted as conflict outside Africa. Instead, the emotional and/or physical reactions may be labeled as some form of psychological disorder or mental illness. For the Africans, on the other hand, it is only a conflict whose resolution requires a delicate and complex process. In some African countries, such as Kenya, Sudan, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Tanzania, the process may demand material libation or offerings (giving gifts to the spirits). According to Cooper (1997), "with this practice they achieve a number of things as they are reminded of the many layered nature of reality. And it begins the long process of developing the purity which prayer provides" (p. 1). Therefore, the process and practice of resolving conflict as well as crisis is different in many ways from the West, specifically, the ways in which conflict is defined and how crisis is interpreted. For example, crises are viewed by most Africans as events caused or influenced by "an enemy in either human or spiritual shape" (Ackerknecht, 1971, p. 136), and yet the methods used to intervene are also very different and specific to the tribal social structure. In some regions of Africa, for instance, the definition of crisis is regarded as sudden illnesses, accidents, or an aggression towards tribal members. In other regions however, the outburst of inter-tribal conflict that threatens the existence of the group is considered a crisis. Although the intervention is more likely to be a Elias Chaboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 18 Society traditional (non-material culture) negotiation, the material culture approach (the object) plays a significant role in facilitating as well as in establishing order. An example of such an object is a mask, analogous to the "talking stick" of the First Nations of Canada. The use of physical materials in African traditional healing is as significant as the use of immaterial ones. The physical material is special, and has many purposes. Almost all African regions use objects for different healing purposes as well as for effecting change or retaining what was lost from the community, or from the individuals and family alike. The point is that "Africa ranks very high in mystical retribution; spirit aggression and sorcery are also equally important for Africans in most regions. Africa uses the techniques of contagious magic as well as spirit possession, ancestral as well as super-natural aggressions, witchcraft and evil eye to cause illness, conflict, and social and family crisis" (Murdock, 1980, p. 48). African Non-Material Culture Non-material culture in this context refers to the abstract concepts that Africans use (i.e. languages, ideas, beliefs, customs, rules, myths, skills, family patterns and social structures), to maintain their well-being, as well as to safeguard or secure the continuity of the tradition (Robertson, 1989, p. 21). This is the most important part of the common African culture, whereby this culture conditions not only Africans in rural areas but also those living in modern urban areas, regardless Elias Chaboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 19 Society of their social, political, and/or intellectual positions in the society, as well as their religious affiliation (Christian and Islam). This part of African culture provides, to the individual and/or the members of the tribe, a regional and national identity to such an extent that the original balance of well-being is maintained and transmitted to the generation that follows (Sullivan, 1989, p. 198-9 & Singer, 1977, p. 186). This is because non-material culture is about morality, values, beliefs, and the maintenance of harmony. Furthermore, this culture prescribes the moral code, standards, common values, and beliefs (norms) to the society. In fact, it is this part of the culture that determines the behavior or characteristics of Africans (Sarpong, 1974). The Africans' behavior in terms of their family and community structure, work habits, help-seeking, leisure, style of communication and spirituality depends on the non-material culture (Bennia, 1993). Family and community for Africans are the most important unit throughout their life. Marriage is a simple example. According to Sarpong, 1974, "In Africa as a whole, one may say, without risking the accusation of exaggeration, that marriages are not simply an affair between individuals who have fallen in love. It is a matter in which the linkages for the contracting parties are greatly interested. In a way, every marriage concerns the whole society in which it takes place" (p. 77). Since the entire community is involved in the creation of a family, the community influences families' bonds. In another example, Behnia (1993), in Elias Chaboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 20 Society describing Ethiopians, suggests that "family and community are built on cooperation, and people work hard, not to get ahead or be better than the community; instead to maintain the well-being of all" (p.5). Children belong not only to the nuclear family, but also to the entire community. So family as well as extended kinship and the community at large are important for Africans. Africans seek help from elders of the community. Elders within the African social structure play an important role in the community. In fact, according to Haviliand, (1991), the elders hold "an important sacred ritual responsibility" (p. 346). As a result, the elders' traditional healing process from the spiritual context is complex and in most instances, sophisticated (Holy, 1991). They pay attention to factors such as symbols, myths and ancestral spirits to interpret and create harmony within the individual or the community (Last & Chavunduka, 1986). Important ceremonial practices within the non-material culture are found in other areas for purposes of healing and creating harmony. Leisure is one such ceremonial practice. Whether it is a game or a visit to another member of the community, or a dance, the common bond within the community provides the individual with an energized body as well as mind. As a result mutual respect exists within the community. Out of respect for this non-material culture, Africans are very polite and soft-spoken when communicating amongst themselves. This way of communicating however, may be misunderstood outside Africa Elias Chaboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 21 Society (Behnia, 1993). This characteristic is not influenced by organized religious affiliations, but by tradition that has existed long before institutional religions. Neither the Muslim nor the Christian religion influences this non material culture that is unique to the Africans. -Rather taboos, legends, myths, and the traditional religion (other than those of Christianity or Islam) influence them. Non material culture is significant to the social, political and spiritual structures of Africa. Without such cultural practices, Africans experience emotional, psychological, social and spiritual isolation (Lewis, 1997). There is much that is unknown in the literature about the patterns of African traditional healing practices outside Africa. Most of the existing literature only portrays the Africans' religious beliefs' and their concepts of God and refers to their principle of conduct and world-view in Africa. Furthermore, the ethnographic analysis of the healing practices of Africans only represents the rural and the primitive part of Africa, which may not reflect the urban Africans' healing practices. For example, if one asks how Africans resolve family conflict, or intervene in individual and family crises, it is almost impossible to find an answer or some reference point in the literature. On the other hand, if one were to ask about culture and cultural practices of Africans, then the available literature is overwhelming. Because the rural Africans' rituals, ceremonies, patterns of movements, religious beliefs or "magico-religion", witchcraft, and other "unusual" behaviors are Elias Chaboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 22 Society different from the West, they have fascinated anthropologists, theologians, and sociologists. As a result, the most important part of the urban culture of Africans' approach to basic family and community life and their use of traditional healing is not known. For example, how do Africans really cope with their day-to-day life, and what do they use outside Africa? Especially here in Canada, what challenges do they face, and how do they deal with these challenges? Can they relate these challenges to their experience in Africa? Would the traditional healing practices adequately meet these life challenges? Are they drawn from the rural Africans' approach of ancestral and ritual practice? Nothing in the literature suggests an answer to the above questions. Since the majority African immigrants are urbanites, these questions have to be explored. Their success in resettlement may depend on their attachment to communities that relate to them. This is relevant not only to Africans but also to other immigrants as well. I looked at other ethnic communities to understand how they become who they are today in comparison to the African immigrants. Most immigrant groups are successfully organized to such a degree where traditional practices are maintained and well represented in Canadian political, social, and economic activities. It is easy therefore to find many documented references in the literature about these immigrant communities. Elias Chaboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 23 Society I have selected two immigrant groups and the First Nation to illustrate how tradition play a significant role to maintain the well being of the individuals and the community at large. These immigrant groups are important because they are the two of oldest non-European immigrant in Canada. There are lesson to be learned from these group of immigrants as to how they mange to maintain and/or retain their traditional practices. Although the selected immigrant group may have migrated to Canada for reason that are different than the African immigrants (more economic than political migration) the global view of traditional healing practice within these immigrant community are blue prints for others to use or to refer to. The selected immigrant communities hold similarity in traditional attributes to those of the African immigrants and they have achieved recognition's from the society they have resettled in. One example of such communities is the Indian (East Indian) immigrants. Despite the linguistic, religious, and cultural diversity, within the East Indian immigrants, they are united. This unity is in fact what makes it possible for them to organize and fulfill the common needs of their members; (e.g. their political, social, economic, and cultural needs). Through, their associations, they keep the individual as well as the group's well-being intact. The East Indian community is not the only community, but one of the many ethnic groups in B.C. and Canada that successfully represents its community and also influences local and national Elias Chaboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 24 Society economic, social, political, and cultural policies and regulations through cooperative associations. East Indian immigrants rely on the strength of their family and community for their resettlement. It is this bond that bridges the gap between the newly arrived and those before them. It is not uncommon to find this community helping fellow country persons economically, socially, and linguistically in order to ease then-resettlement process (Lerch, 1996) Because the family ties are so strong among East Indian immigrants, the entire process of resettlement involves all members of the family. They use "a complex framework of negotiation to bridge two cultures" (Lerch, 1996, p. 29) while holding on to the cultural values, pride, and morality that defines who they are. In this sense, traditional healing practices mediate the East Indian immigrant's process of resettlement through the maintenance of family and community ties. The family and community ties are influenced by extended families (Lerch, 1996). In some instances, as Lerch (1996) highlighted, as a result of family conflicts, East Indian immigrants do experience health problems such as "stress and tension, stomach problems, and hypertension. All of these are issues which cut across ethnic boundaries within the Canadian population" (p. 81). Like most other ethnic immigrants, East Indian immigrants also experience the complex and confusing process of resettlement. Elias Chaboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 25 Society Economically, they help one another through different business activities. They create jobs within and outside the community. They share their fortunes through different traditional activities such as weddings. East Indians are very united in social issues that affect them (conflict, crisis, and family and group relationship) as well as other ethnic groups. They use their power as a community to affect social as well as political changes at the local and national level. This group's cooperation is not only visible physically, but is also through modern information technology. For example, they have their own television, radio programs, and newspapers to keep their people, not only well informed but also to maintain their community tradition, culture, spiritual and medicinal practices. Similarly, because they are cooperative and active in their communities, they often manage to influence political decisions, on behalf of all other ethnic groups at all levels of governments. One has to remember that East Indian immigrants were here in B.C. since 1904. Therefore they understand the importance of organization in the same ways as the Europeans do in order to influence political policies and procedures that affect their well-being. Moreover, East Indians are connected spiritually through their temples, mosques, and churches. Through these institutions, they manage to teach men-children the actual traditional values, beliefs, and moralities that uniquely separate them from the rest of the population. In addition, they maintain their well-being through their traditional music, social gatherings, cultural foods and herbal Elias Chabouc, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 26 Society medicine. As a result, they are key players in their resettlement here in B.C. and Canada. Other ethnic groups have also successfully maintained their tradition through coordinated community organizations in order to overcome the hurdles of settlement here in Canada-The second example of such an ethnic group is the East Asian (i.e. Chinese) community. Like East Indian immigrants, the Chinese also have to overcome resettlement difficulties through organized community activities. They too have been pioneers of community organizing. The Chinese Community is well known throughout North America for its strength in maintaining their traditions. In fact, it may be fair to say that Chinese immigrants are among the strongest ethnic group not only here in B.C. but also throughout Canada. They provide traditional medicine, foods, arts, social kinship, and good relationships to its members. As a result, their members' resettlement process in most cases is manageable and successful. The Chinese community, like the East Indians, has an influence at the local and national level on social, political and economic development. These may be the reasons why Chinese immigrants proudly display their distinct social -identity within the dominant culture. As they continue to practice their old traditions and cultural habits, they add new cultural traits to their own culture as they see fit.. Furthermore, they inform their members through their own TV and Elias Chaboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 27 Society-radio programs as well as newspapers and social gatherings about issues that affect them. Spiritually, they have temples and spiritual leaders. Medically, they provide their members with traditional healing practices, such as herb, massage, and acupuncture. Socially, they provide many community activities and social services to its members. Economically, because they extensively use a social kinship network they have the ability to survive on a low income. Therefore, they successfully integrate into the labor markets within a relatively shorter time after arrival. As a result, their resettlement process may become less stressful compared to those immigrant groups who have no coordinated organization such as Africans. Ethnic focused associations significantly help build confidence for immigrants in their resettlement process. There is an abundant literature oh different European, Asian, African and South American cultural characterization. However, the traditional healing practices that are being used to help these ethnic groups cope with their resettlement process only referred to European and Asian immigrant groups. Especially, until the mid 1970's, Europeans such as Italians, Irish, Greeks, Ukraine, Germans, and Jewish in general were dominantly referred to in Canadian ethnic association literature. In fact, these associations still are influential on Canadian policies such as multiculturalism. Furthermore, they motivate other ethnic groups to organize and do the same. Elias Chaboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 28 Society A tMrd group is the First Nations of Canada. They see tradition as a means for people to adapt and survive in the ever-changing world. They do not believe in uniformity; rather they appreciate and endorse diversity. The First Nations people rely on their traditional practices in order to overcome institutional abuses, oppressions, and socioeconomic isolation. Their traditional practices may be common to those of Africans and Asians, but they use organized power and commitment to challenge the mainstream's mind set promoting traditional beliefs and spiritual values in order to build respect and justice for all people in Canada. The First Nations traditional healing practices are very broad and always involve body, mind, and spirit. The applications of such healing include family, community, and ancestors. Through traditional healing practices, they help then-people with social, economical, medical, spiritual, and legal problems. Socially, the First Nation people are communal and have a strong tie with extended families. Economically, they support one another and co-operate within the community. Medically, they use herb to treat ill health, and other traditional means such as sweat lodge to cleanse their body, mind, and soul. Spiritually, they connect to their ancestors and nature through ritual dances and offerings in order to create harmony and balance within their environment. Legally, the elders apply the traditional justice that is fair and acceptable to their people. Therefore, the First Elias Chaboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 29 Society Nation people are using traditional healing practices to maintain their social, economic, political and spiritual well-beings. African immigrants on the other hand, have not been organized to such a degree as those of the above immigrant communities because they are relatively recent and spread throughout the province. As a result, they may find it difficult to associate and support one another. This is not to suggest that Africans have no skills or knowledge in forming influential organizations, but for reasons mentioned above, they are still struggling. It is also important to know that African tradition and techniques used to sustain their well-being are not uniform but diverse and complex. The Africans' material and non-material cultures as they are applied to maintain and /or retain their standards of well-being differs even within a particular region. In most researched literature however, African cultures were often seen as being homogeneous. There is no doubt that the simple but sophisticated healing practices to treat ill health are generally common to most regions of rural Africa. Yet the obvious differences were neglected. Again, the African immigrants' approach to cope with the conflictive Canadian culture depends on the circumstances that brought them to Canada. Regardless of the reasons however, the resettlement process may require extra help from the mainstream or from people of African origin. Like all immigrants, as Culture and Health 2000 (1997), reported, African immigrants too, experience fear and shame when trying to access services, (i.e.. health services). How might these Elias Chaboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 3 0 Society feelings be eased? May be social workers need to be more open and sensitive. If professionals are open, as Stephenson (1991), suggests, the benefit gained from immigrants is rich. In fact, a Federal Government Task Force Research Report (1988a) supports and promotes the immigrants' healing skills and knowledge and states, "traditional healers from immigrant communities have proven valuable to mainstream practitioners as consultants, trainers, and co-therapists" (p.ii). Another Federal Government Task Force Report (1988b) also has acknowledged the need to involve immigrants because "the availability of ethnic mental health practitioners is very limited" (p.62). The traditional healing practices either formally as a profession, or informally as family and community are expressions of immigrant cultural characteristics. As Waxier-Morrison (1990) explains "the health beliefs and practices of newcomers often differ not only from the mainstream but also from the health professionals who provide care" (p. 245). This in fact affirms the discrepancy of perception between immigrants and service providers caused by the professionals' limited knowledge about immigrants. Since African immigrants are by nature communal in their activities, their cultural and traditional practices influence their ability to interact with their social environment, as well as to maintain social links with people of African origin in order to empower themselves. Social bonding is important for African immigrants because of their historically high-risk forced migration which entailed problems "such as loss of security, isolation from friends and family, language and Elias Chaboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 3 1 Society communication barriers, and job and employment difficulties" (Nann & Seebaran, 1978, p. 301). The opportunity to share each others' issues which threaten their process of resettlement helps to create a common understanding of the issue that is being shared. For African immigrants, such sharing and the maintenance of social bonding provides a net of security and meaning in their day-to-day lives. Thus, the African immigrants' traditional healing practices are relevant during and after their process of resettlement. Elias Chaboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 32 Society Chapter 2 Theory Introduction The need to examine the theories, models, concepts and perspectives as it related to the immigrants' re-settlement process is important in order to link the experiences of immigrants to the social structure of which they are part. Structural social work theory, migration theory, settlement theory, and Adaptation theory are referred to in this chapter in relation to immigrants' re-settlement process and experiences Structural Theory Structuralists Mullaly (1993), Payne (1991), and Carniol (1990) claim that structural theory focuses on social, political and economic factors in order to understand individuals problems as they emerge. According to Mullaly Social beliefs are based on the person as a social being. Economic beliefs are based on the emotion that human well-being is the major criterion for economic decision-making. And political beliefs are based on people having the right and the responsibility to participate in those decisions that affect their lives. This ideology comprises an interdependent, consistent, and mutually reinforcing set of ideas and ideals that should underpin the type of society that best promotes social work's fundamental values of humanism and egalitarianism (1993, pg. 43-44). Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 33 Society Within the context of these structural theoretical explanations, one can clearly give context to personal or individual failure as being a result of the larger structure. One could also conceptualize the fact that the success and/or the failure of the immigrants' re-settlement can be a question of fit between individual characteristics and the opportunity structure of the society. The society, the social environment, the power structure, the system (that impose criteria for people to lose or to get ahead), the structural rewards (who gets benefits or services), and the institutional restrictions are significant and have bearing on how immigrants adapt and settle in any society. In fact, immigrants' re-settlement and adaptation success or failure is not up to the individuals to evaluate because it is about conformity; instead it is shaped by what society, its social environment and larger structure expect from immigrants. The more adaptive and flexible these structures are the easier for immigrants to re-settle and adapt in the new society. This may require structural change. Structural theory is helpful in understanding such changes because as Mullaly explains the structural approach is "based on the belief that changing people by personal consciousness-raising on a massive scale is a prerequisite for changing society" (1993, p. 154). Since the goal of the theory is to create change, change that is progressive, holistic, social and environmental, it provides key ingredients to understand the needs and the effects of change. Not only does structural theory encourage people to become aware of the larger social, Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 34 Society political, and economic situations in order to distinguish between personal and political issues, it also convinces practitioners that the personal is political. Migration Theory Migration theory has been the dominant theory to explain human movement and changes within social, political, economical, and environmental human history. Today, migration theory examines all variables such as political, social, economic, and environmental migration. Within these variables the following theoretical explanations are presented so the immigrants' re-settlement process could be understood. (1) Political Migration Political migration, as it is explained in migration theory, has a forced and unplanned mobility. Nann and Seebaran (1978) highlight the impacts of such migration as being "a particular concern to mental health workers due to the creation of 'high risk' refugee groups with problems such a loss of security, isolation from friends and family, language and communication barriers, and job and employment difficulties" (p. 301). This is the common cause for immigrants as they attempt to re-settle.. It is because political migrants never intended to resettle permanently; it was only meant to be a temporary escape from political upheaval. For example, due to political upheaval, Africans are the largest group of political migrants in the world and as a result, they may find re-settlement stressful. Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 3 5 Society (2) Economic Migration Economic migration is also a temporary movement both regionally and internationally. It is a planned and goal-oriented mobility. This movement too has a large influence from the migrant culture, race and ethnicity. For example, migrants from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America are often engaged in lower wage employment. Consequently, this engagement constitutes a threat to higher paid local unionized workers (Wharf, 1990, p. 119). For these reasons, in Canada, these migrants often stand out because of their color, race, and ethnic background. These differences may set them up to experience blame, whenever the nation's economy becomes uncertain. As a result, the experience becomes overwhelming for these migrants and re-settlement become a long and tough process. (3) Environmental Migration This kind of migration is usually two kinds; required resettlement due to environmental disaster, such as flood or earthquake and the planned change of movement, such as retirement and visitation. Therefore Migration theory explains that there is minimal impact on immigrants as compared with the previous two theories (the political, and economic migration). Nevertheless, their re-settlement is not an easy process. Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 36 Society Settlement Theory Settlement theory help us understand the immigrants' settlement indicators, and explains their settlement process, as well as their experiences witliin (the push and the pull) process of settlement. Figure 2 Settlement Indicators As Perceived By Both Service Providers and Immigrants Service Providers'Perceptions Of The Top Twenty Indicators . 1. The ability to speak and listen in English and to be able to understand the subtleties of ordinary and slang English. 2. Maintaining or establishing a functional harmonious family life. 3. A sense of well-being, optimism (good mental health) as well as a general sense of physical well-being. 4. Settlement in a safe, permanent home or apartment and acquiring satisfactory household goods. 5. The willingness to accept available as well as suitable employment. 6. Capacity to make Canadian friends and friends within one's own ethno-cultural community: 7. Being able to support oneself and /or one's family 8. Being able to adjust to life and culture in Canada and being able to know what is acceptable and ordinary. 9. To have skills for finding acquiring employment. 10. To have proficient and non-verbal communication skills relevant to the host culture. 11. The gaining of suitable employment and feeling comfortable at work, as well as showing the capacity to advance in the career. 12. To maintain self-confidence, a positive self-image, and pride in oneself. 13. The capacity to show realistic expectations for oneself and others. 14. Has the capacity to make use of community support services such as medical and legal facilities on his/her own. 15. A good knowledge of the community, including awareness of community services and resources. 16. The ability to move and function effectively in social, educational, and vocational environment s. 17. Shows a capacity and is able to upgrade or further her/his education _ _ 18. Acceptance of the appearance of Canadian habits among one's children. 19. The capacity to orient oneself to convert personal development with a focus on and hope for the future (i.e., a focus on self -improvement). 20. To understand a person's rights and responsibilities including the laws in Canada. Immigrants' Listing and Ranking of the Top Twenty Indicators 1. The gaining of suitable employment and feeling comfortable at work, as well as showing the capacity to advance in the career. 2. A sense of well-being, optimism (good mental health) as well as a general sense of physical well-being. 3. The ability to speak and listen in English and to be able to understand the subtleties of ordinary and slang English. 4. To be able to feel secure about the safety and well-being of the children while both parents work. 5. Being able to support oneself and/or one's family. 6. To have intermediate and advanced language skills relevant to the person's trade or profession. 7. The ability to move and function effectively in social, educational, and vocational environments. 8. Maintaining or establishing a functional harmonious family life. 9. To have skills for finding and acquiring employment. 10. To have adequate transportation to meet a person's needs. 11. Shows a capacity and is able to upgrade or further her/his education. 12. A good knowledge of the community, including awareness of community services and resources. 13. (Tie) To be comfortable with Canadian gender roles. 14. (Tie) Settlement in a safe, permanent home or apartment and acquiring satisfactory household goods. 15. To get a job similar to the one in the home country. 16. (Tie) The capacity to make Canadian friends and friends within one's own ethno-cultural community. 17. (Tie) To have established friendships among the non-immigrant population that are at the same level of maturity and experience as the immigrant. 18. To understand a person's rights responsibilities according to Canadian laws. 19. Involvement in the community including volunteering one's time and expertise in areas such as coaching, adult education volunteering for charities. 20. Being able to adjust to life and culture in Canada and being able to know what is acceptable and ordinary. Alexander, M. Ervin, (INCAN Vol. 11 (2) 1997. Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 37 Society (1) Settlement Process The process of settlement often depends on the individual's origin and culture. The settlement process may be understood in several ways. One of the ways is understanding the success and failure in order to evaluate the effects of immigrants (Piore, 1979, p. 60). Others see the process differently. According to the Inter-cultural Association of Greater Victoria's orientation manuals, there are five processes. 1. The honeymoon period: Initially many people feel fascinated and excited by everything new. The newcomer is delighted to be in a new culture. 2. Culture shock: The newcomer finds him/herself having difficulties dealing with daily problems: transportation, shopping, and language. Mental fatigue results from continuously struggling to deal with daily life in a different language. 3. Initial Adjustment: The newcomer learns to confront subsistence problems and daily life becomes easier. Communication abilities start to improve. 4. Mental Isolation: Loneliness becomes the dominant emotion, resulting sometimes in voluntary isolation. 5. Acceptance and Integration: Once a daily routine has been established (going to school, to work, etc.) the newcomer begins to feel comfortable with other people and makes new friends (I.C.A. training module). Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 3g Society (2) The Push The push is the expectation of Canadian society about the imniigrant's speed of integration or assimilation. Through the above stated process of five stages, immigrants experience both the push and the pull of re-settlement, adaptation, and acculturation. The most common factors increasing the push to re-settlement are: first, the immigrants' ability to access employment so they do not have to depend on the Canadian social safety net. Secondly, to start to understand the social norms and regulations of Canada, so they can behave in a manner that is socially appropriate. (3) The Pull The pull is an indicator of the difficulties that immigrants face in meeting Canadian expectation or reaction to unfamiliar social norms. For example, the following are the major indicators of the problems associated with immigrant experiences: the physical move and the pulling up of family roots; the breaking of deep meaningful ties; the leaving of familiar and comfortable surroundings for the unknown; the strangeness of the new environment. Moving from a rural area into a fast, impersonal urban society is confusing and overwhelming. The immigrant may be unprepared for the challenges to their tradition values by Canadian society. He or she may have no family or friends to draw support from, in facing the new experiences and difficulties encountered in a new country. Their previous special skills, education and experiences are not recognized, therefore their struggle to Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 39 Society stabilize their l i fe 's patterns takes longer than anticipated. The social status change i n a new country and re-establishing the same status is stressful. The immigrants are expected to conform and redefine their status to that o f a social minor i ty , leading to depression ( I .C .A. training module unknown date). Adaptation Theory Adapt ing to a new society, culture, language, and environment are the most stressful experiences for most immigrants. There are three stages that immigrants have to go through in order to adapt or to cal l their new country home. The first stage is understanding the language of the host society; the second stage is l i nk ing their value, beliefs, and cultures to the society they are integrating into, and the third stage is learning to respect both their o w n and other cultures. Language is an important factor in deciding whether to accept or reject the social norms in one given society. For immigrants, the process of learning the Eng l i sh language takes longer than they expect. Consequently, the speed of their adaptation not only delays, but also builds other barriers to adaptation. A s a result, the immigrant may feel unconnected to the society they are integrating into due to the lack of linkage between their values, beliefs, and moralities. The acknowledgments and respects o f both their o w n and Canadian culture becomes elusive. Structural barriers are the most challenging experience o f adaptation. Fo r example, institutionalized restrictions (i.e. devaluation of previous education, ski l ls , and experiences), and the challenges of accepting the changes (i.e. personal, Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian Society 40 social and cultural), are most common amongst immigrants. His tor ica l ly , immigrants ' experience of adapting to Nor th A m e r i c a has been difficult for these reasons. The historical biases and stereotyping of immigrants by the mainstream have never made adaptation easy. F i g u r e 3 The Theoretical Interaction O f Af r i can Immigrants Resettlement Process. Mig ra t ion Theory 1 Pol i t i ca l Economic Environmenta \ / Structural Theory 7K Adaptation Theory 7N Settlement Theory Structural, Adaptat ion, and Settlement theories do intersect each other wi th in the frame of migration theory. Mig ra t ion theory is an important theory to understand the Af r i can immigrants patterns of adaptation and process o f resettlement in the new social environment that is structurally different f rom their own . The theory distinguishes the variables in adaptation or resettlement between those who migrated pol i t ical ly and those who migrated either economical ly or environmentally. The process of immigrants ' adaptation and resettlement can be examined through structural theory. Furthermore, since the social structure sets Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 4 ] Society the expectations for immigrants, structural theory becomes a lens to understand both the causes of migration, and the adaptation to the new social environment. For example the experiences of pol i t ical migrants and economic or environment migrants wi th in the new social environment can be compared through the structural expectation of the host society. One could identify the different expectations between pol i t ical , economic, and environmental migrants by applying the above theories. In other words, structural theory helps to illustrate the promises and challenges of immigrants as they adapt and finally resettle in the new social environment. Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 42 Society Chapter 3 M E T H O D O L O G Y Research Question The following were the research questions: 1. What are the traditional healing practices used in Africa? 2. What are the factors that prevent or encourage African immigrants in their use of traditional healing practices? 3. Have the African immigrants' experiences with social service agencies discouraged or encouraged their traditional healing practices? Introduction This research was a participatory interview design. The issues under study were explored through the lens of African men and women immigrants: those who have used and those who have tried to use traditional healing directly and/or indirectly to assist in their process of re-settlement into Canadian society. The present study is based on the interview design research which, as Kirby & McKenna (1989) explained, is "a special form of interaction or a discussion in which both the interviewer and the person being interviewed share rich and detailed information and contribute to the research process" (p. 66). Therefore, the method in this research is sensitive to the many cultures of African immigrants. It was designed to ensure the participants' safety and to enable them to share experiences with the researcher. Elias Cheboud, 1998 The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 43 Society Sample 20 African female and male immigrants over 19 years of age were interviewed for this research. Although the majority of participants identified themselves as coming from eastern Africa, participants from other regions of Africa (i.e. Western Africa, Northern Africa, Southern Africa and Central Africa)were included. The samples included two groups. The first consisted of only African immigrants who have been in Canada five years or less; the second consisted of African immigrants who have lived in Canada more than five years. The sample was designed this way in order to clarify the assumption that those who have lived in Canada five years or less may continue to use their traditional healing practices. In the same line of assumption, those who lived longer than five years may have ceased their traditional healing practice. Because the sample was based on "two persons with similar experience, known to each other, an equal sharing of risk and of information" (Kirby & McKenna, 1989, p. 69) with the interviewer, the selection of two groups helped generate better understanding of the issue. The African immigrant population learned about the project through the Inter-cultural Association of Greater Victoria, posted advertisements, distributed notices, and by word of mouth. In other words, the snowball approach was used. Snowball samples, as Lerch (1996) explained, are " the most effective means for obtaining participation of immigrant groups in research, although the sample may Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 44 Society not represent the whole population but s imply the population characterized by the first few informants in the study" (p. 58). Criteria for Selection of Participants A l l participants met the fo l lowing criteria: 1. Af r i c an immigrant female or male over 19 years o f age. 2. A f r i c a n immigrant female or male who is a permanent resident o f Greater V i c t o r i a . 3. Af r i can immigrant female or male who is able to communicate in Eng l i sh . 4. Af r i c an immigrant female or male who originated from one of the five regions of A f r i c a (i.e., Eastern A f r i c a , Western A f r i c a , Northern A f r i c a , Southern A f r i c a , and Central Af r i ca ) . 5. Af r i can immigrant female or male who is w i l l i n g to participate freely or voluntari ly. Entry into the African Community A s an Af r i can immigrant myse l f (the researcher), access to the A f r i c a n communi ty for the purpose of this study was not a problem; in fact, it was natural and did not need any special preparation. M y participation in the community was an "enacted and re-enacted daily a c t i v i t y ] to secure [my] l i ve l ihood" (Ng , 1996, p. 16). Therefore, there was no extra effort in my part, other than being part of the sample group, to access the Af r i can community. Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 45 Society Characteristics of Participants The background of the participant was acquired through the introductory questions. All participants interviewed provided information on their age, gender, African region of birth, length of residence in Canada, classification of immigration category, number of persons in the household, and marital status. Participants were between the ages of 20 and 51, were very familiar with their culture, and were fluent in their own language as well as in English. As described by participants, the African immigrant traditional practices were drawn in association to the African region from which they originated. As described earlier, there are very few African immigrants living in Victoria. As a result, they have difficulty in finding a group of African immigrants from the same region of African. Consequently, African immigrants rely on common values, moralities and honor of other Africans to maintain their traditional practices. However, participants noted that not being able to find other immigrants from the same country affected the maintenance of their language and their unique traditional practices. Data Collection The data for this study was collected through interviews in English language with African immigrants who have lived in Canada five years or less, and those who have lived longer than five years. The 13 semi-structured interview questions were used to guide the interview (see appendix A). Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 46 Society The participants were interviewed in a location that was mutually convenient. In all the interviews, participants expected an initial discussion about Africa and Africans before taping of the actual interview began. As Lerch (1996), indicated, "it may be helpful to use a communication style Which is sensitive to that of the immigrant being interviewed" (p. 66), so comfort and trust can be established. Each interview was approximately 30 to 45 minutes. Throughout the interview, the participants answers were clarified in order to validate the outcome of the research and to further explore new inquires that emerged from the analysis of the data. In addition, field notes were maintained during and after the interview process, in order to record such details as the non-verbal communication and the environment at the time of interview. These notes were included in the analysis of the data. Analysis of the Data The qualitative procedure of data analysis was employed in this research. The tape-recorded data were transcribed and the transcripts were read carefully to familiarize the researcher with the information. Secondly, field notes (i.e. the personal observation and reflection of the data gathering process) were reorganized and critically evaluated. Thirdly, the transcribed data was arranged in theme. Themes were organized for the content of the data and for the process of gathering the data. This approach had formulated a means to "fully describe and explain what [was] being researched"(Kirby & McKenna 1989, p. 129). Fourthly, field Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 47 Society f ie ld notes and raw data were compared and cross-referenced. Fif thly , written accounts of the issue (literature) and the data were compared. F ina l ly , themes were drawn and evaluated based on both context and content of the data. C o m m o n themes of Af r i can immigrants ' experience that emerged from the data were compared with accounts in the literature. . T h i s is because qualitative data analysis may easily be affected by investigators bias, and great care should be taken, to see that prejudices and preconceived notions do not improperly influence perceptions and interpretation (Chartes, 1995). Ethical Considerations Permiss ion from the Universi ty of Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a Behaviora l Sciences screening committee for Research and other Studies invo lv ing human subject was received on October 31st 1997 (see Append ix E ) . In order to prevent possible participants from feeling coerced, a third party was used to approach individuals who met the study criteria. The Settlement Service department of the Inter-cultural Associat ion of Greater Vic to r i a participated in distributing the letter explaining the research and in posting advertisements. S imi la r ly , the agency's clients told other Af r i can immigrants about the project. The researcher again read the letter of explanation a l l referred participant upon agreeing to participate, participants were asked to sign a consent form. Each participant was assured of the confidentially of the information, and their right to withdraw from the project at any time without explanation. Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 48 Society After every interview, the raw data was kept in locked storage, and was shredded and burned upon completion of the study. In addition, identifiers, which may have connected particular individuals to an African region, were deleted in reporting on the project. Limitation and Delimitation Several limitations for this study were identified. Since the research was restricted to the African immigrants in Greater Victoria, and to those Africans who could speak English, the sample was not really representative of each African region. The other limitation was the lack of information gathered from those African immigrants who did not speak English well. In addition, the time limitation of the interview as well as the divers nature of the population may have prevented participants from sharing their experiences in great detail, other than providing a brief global view of the subject. Furthermore, financial restrictions prevented an extension of the interview time. The primary delimitation of the research has been to create necessary awareness for immigrant serving agencies in Victoria. The findings provide important information about African immigrants in Victoria. The inquiry is limited only to African immigrants with the assumption that this population has experienced a common resettlement process. Because the validity of the data applies only to the African immigrant population living in Elias Cheboud, 1998 The African Immigranls Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 4 9 Society V i c t o r i a , it w o u l d be difficult to generalize and draw conclus ion for other immigrant groups. The complex and r ich nature of the data describes the unique characteristics o f Af r i c an immigrants. Ye t due to the l imited numbers of participants in this research (i.e. only 20) the transferability of the findings is questionable. Since the research time was short, the depth of the inquiry was very general. The other reason is that the research was only l imited to those Af r i can immigrants who speak the Eng l i sh language. Those who did not speak Engl i sh were excluded; consequently, the similarity of using traditional healing practices in resettlement between those who speak Engl i sh and those who don' t is unknown. F ina l ly , due to the lack of literature, the f inding may be difficult to support or reject. Implications for Further Research Throughout the inquiry, there were issues that have potential for future research, such as, the level of awareness among human services professionals, not only wi th regard to Af r i can immigrants, but also to immigrants in general. Professionals such as social workers and health care workers may f ind this research informative. The interpretation of the data also gives an introduction o f A f r i c a n immigrants, the ways in which they view their wor ld , their philosophy of l ife, and their connection to their traditions. Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian Society 50 Chapter 4 The Data CENTRAL AFRICAN PARTICIPANTS Participants Profile 1st Participant 2nd Participant 3rd Participant 4th Participant Age 34 26 24 44 Gender Male Male Male Male Marital Status Married Single Single Married Employment Status Employed Employed Unemployed Employed Length of Stay in Canada Less than 5 years More than 5 years Less than 5 years More than 5 years Question 1. What are your traditional healing practices, which you used in Africa? 1 st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Everyone helps each other, Social Rules and Regulations, Being together, Community based material and moral support naturally, happiness and sadness is shared with the community, Communal living. Fruits and plants, fire and scaring, spirituality, Social healing is the bases for traditional healing. Ancestral schedule, old tradition past on, tradition addition to Christianity, family oriented, give respect for all people. Social life, People cooperates together, people love each other, and people take care of one another. Identified Theme: All 4 participants rely on communal, social, and family based tradition. Question 2: Of those traditional healing practices which ones do you currently use and why? 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Communicating with people socially, socializing with people. Traditional clothing, dressed, food, music. Do not practice any. Getting together, celebrating together, talking my language with family, food, overall tradition. Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 51 Society Identified Themes: Keeping in touch with people from their country and socialization are common practices among both married and single, employed male participants. The length of stay and employment may have an impact but age is not a significant factor. Those who maintain and practice the tradition are in both categories of length of stay in Canada (i.e. more than 5 years and less than 5 years categories) yet the lack of employment has affected the continuity of the traditional practice. Perhaps isolation from their own community would be a factor for lack of employment as a result there is no motivation to practice tradition. Question 3. Which ones have you ceased and why? 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Has not lost confidence to not stop practicing. I use what is available; I don't use the plants and fire. Al l my tradition due to Urban Influence. Does not feel the lost of traditional healing practice because of strong family bond. Identified Themes: Despite the many challenges they may have faced, the three participants still practice their tradition. In fact, the tie to their tradition is so strong that one participant states that he will use all means to continue practicing as long as it takes. The other two have the confidence and the family bond that help them to keep the tradition alive. On the other hand, the young participant has lost the traditional connection. Perhaps this participant has not found people from his country and also the urban life style had disconnected the individual from his tradition. Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 52 Society Question 4 Do you wish to retain your traditional healing practices? 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses . 4th Participant Verbatim Responses As long as I'm able to communicate, I can live the same way with different society. It would be nice to retain it. Community life, sharing, elders, friend and family. Get rid of individualism, strengthen the sense of community, getting together, maintain tribal and cultural tradition and more contact with all Africans. Surrounding of community. The opening of people's door. The greeting of people. The sharing of food and everything else. Identified Themes: Three of the 4 participants are willing to retain their traditions for the purposes of community life, togetherness, understanding of one another, the sharing of feelings and the celebration that goes with it. The tradition provides the sense of belongings, identity and self respect through these social bond. The other however, has strong confidence not only to wish it but also to hold on to the tradition. Question 5. Identify factors, if any, that currently help you to retain your traditional healing practices. 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Strong community attachment, people equal contribution, everyone help, participation. I don't know it is difficult. Don't know where to go. Getting together with African, contact with people and music. Bond togetherness with people from his country and kids, music, food. Identified Themes: The community bond, the sense of togetherness and the sharing of traditional foods, music as well as the chatting,othe feeling of being part of the group have been the major factor in helping them retain the traditional healing practices. The other, who has not found people from his own country has shown isolation and loneliness, and does not really know what could help to retain the tradition. Elias Cheboud, 1998. the African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian Society 53 Question 6. Identify factors, if any, that prevent you from retaining your traditional healing practices. 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Hard to create the atmosphere of healing here and the human support is not there. There is no feeling of doing is here. Not having a bridge with my tradition and Canadian. Life is fast paced, no time to meet do anything, very busy, a place to meet. No time, to busy. Identified Themes: The social condition here is different from Africa. Because the environment encourages self centered individualistic goals, the feeling of collective or community life is abandoned. Everyone continues to be too busy to meet their daily needs. As a result, one becomes far removed from human support that encourages and bridges tradition. Therefore, the time, lac;*., of space, and lack of people interest are factors that prevent Central Africans from retaining their traditional practices. Question 7. Do you think that the use of traditional healing practices help you to resettle into Canadian society? 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Yes, sense of failure directly or indirectly and to live and assimilate. I pray to change myself and to dictate my settlement. Yes, help me adjust to the new life. The sense of wellness. The positive attitude helps me accept and deal with problems. Yes, help me face unpredictable situation positively for there is no organization to make it possible for me. Yes, help me maintain my language with my wife, culture with my kids. The feeling of being African is maintained at home. Identified Themes: The traditional healing practice helps all participants to gain confidence in their process of adjusting, assimilating and resettling. It also helps them cope with every day unpredictable challenges and provides them with the Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 54 Society sense of cultural dignity and pride as Africans. They are able to pray, share the language, and tradition with children as well as fellow country people. Furthermore, traditional practices help them to assume the sense of wellness and the positive attitudes to accept and face challenges. Question 8. Have you any experience in using social service agencies here in Canada? 1 st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Yes, help know my rights they are encouraging, supporting. Yes, they are very discouraging. They don't do what they say they would do, and restricted with funding. Yes, I get help everyday. Yes, they are helpful. Identified Themes: All participants have had some sort of experience with service providers with the social service agencies. They have been supportive and encpuraging; however, the satisfaction of the services by the participants were not uniformed. Some feel the workers are restricted with policies of the government which may have resulted in dissatisfaction by the service recipient. This affect the perception of the overall services and the withdrawal of the participant from seeking help. Question 9. Identify healing practice, if any, that you have used from Canadian society, which you have found helpful or harmful? 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses No pressure for doing things as long as it is useful to me. It is consciousness raising. Without changing my own I incorporate what is useful to me. Yes, I do everyday, every morning because this is my new home. So it help me to adapt it works-O.K. Yes, I use beautiful things, like greetings e.g. Thank You. I hate the divorce rate and how the family value is structured. Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 55 Society Identified Themes: Participants have used the Canadian custom and healing practices. The majority have found the experience very helpful. It has helped them to be more self reliant, and confident in what they do. As a result, the resettlement process becomes comfortable so long as the tradition does not contradict their own . The government involvement with family issues such as: divorce and taking away children are harmful to the participants because it breaks the family unit. Question 10. Would you say that your effort is to settle into Canadian society? 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Yes, no pressure from doing things. Its time that I should settle Yes, being employed and the feeling of being at home. No, I don't think so. I will go back where I came from when the political situation changes. Yes, I don't know what is working well. My effort is to re-settle in Canada. Identified Themes: Three participants do believe that their desire is to resettle. They could not pin point and identify what has worked for them to make them believe that they should resettle. Nevertheless, they have indicated Canada is their home. The other participant could not see Canada as being his home. In fact, the desire is to go back if the political condition of his country in Africa changes. Meanwhile, this participant only tries hard just to continue meeting his daily needs. Elias Cheboud, 1998 The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 56 Society Question 11. Do any of your traditional healing practices: help you to cope with difficulties? Prevents you from coping? 1 st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses It's helpful, it alleviate pressures, as long as I think it is useful it helps. Yes, it keeps me alive and well. Although I meet problem that require different therapy. So far I am not able to apply my traditional practice to copy or solve problems. Yes, sometimes spending time with my kids speaking my language helps. Identified Themes: The traditional healing practice is what gives these participants the strength and confidence to accept and face the challenges or their daily stress. The family, the community, and the ancestral connection help them cope and keep them alive and well as they struggle towards their resettlement. Question 12. What would you suggest to African communities here in Victoria to do? 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Organize one strong African community Let's organize and have community resources. Let's create a strong united African community. Please be together. Let's co-operate; let's have a strong community. Identified Theme: All participants agreed that one strong African community would be useful. Question 13. What are you going to do about it? Would you be part of it? 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Will participate. Will be involved. Will be part of it. Will participate. Identified Theme: All participants are interested to participate. Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 57 Society EAST A F R I C A N PARTICIPANTS Participants Profile 1 st Participant 2nd Participant 3rd Participant 4th Participant Age 34 37 38 40 Gender Male Female Male Male Marital Status Married Single Married Married Employment Status Employed Employed Employed Employed Length of Stay in Canada More than 5 years More than 5 years More than 5 years More than 5 years. Question 1. What are your traditional healing practices, which you used in Africa? 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Friends and family, social life as being significant as remedies or support. Extended family and community share happiness and grief. Strong community support, different community association for healing purposes, active and positive community practice to support the individual or the family materially, emotionally and psychologically, as well as financial. Helping each other is the tradition and a duty. Food, clothing, ways of communication, way of helping one another. Identified Themes: Family, extended family, friends, the community tie and bond. The tradition of getting together forming selected people to solve specific problems such as: financial, material, spiritual, and ill health is considered traditional healing practice. Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 5 8 Society Question 2: Of those traditional healing practices which ones do you currently use and why? 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Discussing things with wife and friends, visiting other social agencies. Getting together with friends, sharing secrets with friend from our community, maintaining the connection with the community. None of them. Due to lack of people from own country of origin. Traditional food, music, and clothing. Identified Themes: Connecting with people of their country, the traditional diet, music, and clothing as well as socializing and sharing are practiced by 3 East African participants. One has ceased to practice because there are no people from his own country. Neither gender nor marital status was a factor for using or not using traditional healing practice; rather the absence of people from one's own country is the significant cause. Question 3. Which ones have you ceased and why? 1 st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Social life, social linkage, Individualist, people concern about own life, people don't get together living condition force this to happen. Living in a community because people are scattered. To overcome loneliness we form Bible studies we use our own language. Ceased all. Have tried not to cease any of them because of the children. Identified Themes: The 3 participants try hard and continue not to cease any of the traditional practices. The social gatherings, the children, the study groups, and the social link encourage them to maintain the tradition. Yet the individualistic nature of the society and not living close to one another have made the practice Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 59 Society difficult. On the other hand, one participant has ceased the tradition due to the lack of people from his own country. Question 4. Do you wish to retain your traditional healing practices? 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Social life, connection, sharing, problem solving within a social environment. Living close to one another, getting together, forming an association, and speaking our language. Community support, getting together, surrounded by the community. When one needs emotionally financial, psychological needs. Language, overall tradition, getting together, community support, sharing. Identified Themes: All participants deeply wish to retain and maintain the tradition. It is this tradition that connects, influences them to share, and support each other. They don't want to lose the social gathering, community identity, family relationship, and the language. Therefore, they try hard towards the continuity of their tradition. Question 5. Identify factors, if any, that currently help you to retain your traditional healing practices 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Caring of family members, community friends, sharing of feelings, the connections. Memories of association to help people within the community, both individual and family, happiness or grief, food, remedies. Family situation, love my own culture, music from my county, videos, memories of my culture. Feel great about culture, work very hard, to make sure my children have a future. Identified Themes: Memories from their countries are the first and foremost factors to maintain and retain their tradition; the caring, love, and belonging to individuals family, and community were significant. The sharing of feelings of Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian Society 60 happiness or grief, the music, the ceremonies, and the foods are important for retaining the tradition amongst East Africans. Question 6. Identify factors, if any, that prevent you from retaining your traditional healing practices. 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Lack of social and family orientation, family separation here in Canada e.g.: child divorces its family after 18. Less interest of family. Family doesn't care about extended family. Human connection is lost because of telephone, T V Cultural differences, can't scream, when grieving or cry out loud, it makes the person look ridicule you. You feel judged if you do it. Cultural way suppresses your feelings. Not enough people from own country, no material from home. Children influence with western culture. They hate their culture. For adult no one around we can refer to link to. We are forced to participate within western culture. Identified Themes: The lack of people from their own countries often has been a barrier. The Canadian family values, and the western cultural influence on the children work against retaining the tradition. Also, adults feel this influence, to the degree where they are forced to neglect the tradition. As their culture contradicts, they suppress their feelings in order to avoid judgment and prejudices. Question 7. Do you think that the use of traditional healing practices helps you to resettle into Canadian society? 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Yes, it help me connect with other African and other Canadian, since Canada is my home, I try to adapt, without losing my culture. Not really because the living conditions are different I in fact am force to suppress my feelings so I don't have to be judged. Yes, the morals and value I get from my family help me to survive in Canada. Yes, it helps to meet the demands when I am feeling lonely and frustrated I share with my friends also visit and I would soon be relief. Elias Cheboud, 1998 The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 61 Society Identified Themes: It is the traditional healing practice that helps them associate with others and connect them with people of Africans as well as with Canadians. Although to one individual participant the tradition has blocked such connection due to the fear of being judged; the others, see their tradition as the only means that help them survive in this country, as well as cope and meet the demands of the society. Question 8. Have you any experience in using social service agencies here in Canada? 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Yes, I have they are not encouraging or discouraging. They are welcoming but few are helpful. They did nothing to solve problems or help. But they seem helpful. What they say and do is not the same. Day after day is the same thing. Yes, I have they were very respectful, willing to help, they seem to be there what ever to give they refer you but they tend to bounce me from agency to another. The problem remains unsolved. Yes, my family problems have exposed me to such kind of agencies. I would still see it as a positive experience but they lack the cultural understanding, the lack of sensitivity and that makes a big difference. Yes, I have they help a lot. I use their resources; I get updated information and something that helps me. Identified Themes: The participants have had experiences of using social service agencies. Their experiences were not promising and they have found the services insensitive to cultural differences; as a result, they feel the agencies fail to meet their needs. Nevertheless, the workers are welcoming, encouraging, and helpful. Yet what they say and what they do is contradictory to the participants' expectation of the agency. Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 62 Society Question 9. Identify healing practices, if any, that you have used from Canadian society, which you have found helpful or harmful? 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses I can't say it is helpful. The social orientation is interfering with my culture. The government is involving in your life your kid's life. You have no privacy to resolve your issues in your home. Things get out of context 90% of the time things is exaggerated. Problems do not get solve. Do not want to follow Canadian way of life. Yes, I find it helpful the openness is something I like. You don't hide anything. What is shame in my country is open here. There is a social acceptance here. You are not judged; Canadians are less judgmental on issues. I think there is a lot that is helpful understanding the societal differences the cultural differences. The use of time is very positive. It helps you survive. But there are negative things that everyone should avoid. Similar in my country as well I take only what is good for me. Yes, I find it helpful. I have learned a lot I have to be aggressive to get what I want. You have to be assertive. It's a struggle because our culture put us on a disadvantage to accept such tradition. Identified Themes: Despite the cultural differences and the impact they create, the use of Canadian tradition in most cases has been helpful. The self confidence, openness, the effective use of time, and the assertiveness are examples of the helpful nature of Canadian tradition. However, the harmful part of this tradition is that it interferes with family unity, it encourages separation instead of togetherness, things are perceived out of context, and issues are too exaggerated. Elias Cheboud, ':998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settloment Into Canadian 63 Society Question 10. Would you say that your effort is to settle into Canadian society? 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Yes, I am taking everything the Canadian way I am taking the best of the best without throwing out my culture. 1 am using both. No, if the political situation in my country change I would like to go back. It was not my desire to come to Canada. But so far I have graduated from University. The difficulty is finding employment. I feel there is a lot of Racism. Being a single father I am trying to have a life. It is challenging to meet. The cultural differences are very tough. I have had a rough time to adjust. We can overcome by unlearning. Yes, but it is not easy. I don't feel I have achieved to many barriers. Not easy being a minority. It takes a long time. But other minorities have succeeded. Identified Themes: They would like to re-settle into Canadian society, but so far it has not been easy. They would like to retain as much of their culture as possible in order to live in Canada and this is the only barrier they feel preventing them from re-settling. One participant does not see a future in Canada and would like to return home as soon as the situation changes. Question 11. Do any of your traditional healing practices help you to cope with difficulties? Prevents you from coping? 1 st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Social gathering, the cultural music it help cope. Yes, my country songs and my traditional folk dance help me to cope. I don't think so. Because of the amount of work involve to survive and adjust to this society outweighs everything else. I have little of my tradition here. Adjusting to this society takes a lot of time. Yes, my tradition helps me when I get frustrated. I share with my family and friends. I go to church. But it is difficult when there is no community center to share with. Identified Theme: Three of the 4 participants use traditional healing with family members, friends, and social gatherings where songs and dances are exchanged in Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian Society 64 order to cope with their daily difficulties as they re-settle into Canada. One participant feels that it takes a lot of time in order to adjust to a different society. Question 12. What would you suggest to African communities here in Victoria to do? 1 st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Build a strong united community. One strong community. One African association. A strong African community association. community. Question 13. What are you going to do about it? Would you be part of it? 1 st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Respi onses I will be part of it. Will participate. I will participate. Identified Theme: All have great interest to participate. I will participate. i:iias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 65 Society WEST A F R I C A N PARTICIPANTS Participants Profile 1 st Participant 2nd Participant 3rd Participant 4th Participant Age 50 24 23 24 Gender female male male male Marital status married single single single Employment status employed unemployed unemployed employed Length of stay in Canada. less than 5 years less than 5 years less than 5 years less than 5 years Question 1. What are your traditional healing practices, which you used in Africa? 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Traditional healers, leaves roots, barks of trees, incantation, spirituality, oracle, main family connection, community ancestral, songs gathering of people around, ceremonies, drumming, chanting, music, praising names, the family and extended family bond, the attachment. Herb, local medicines, passed on from our forefathers. The stream of plants, the relationship of the community, the togetherness of family, neighbors, the whole community, beliefs, values. People do things together, people put their head together in the community, the sharing, the happiness the getting together, the playing, the communal life. Values, respect of the elderly, the self respect, the community, high sense of moral value, societal taboo, confirmation of the social rules and regulation, belief system, praying, community orientation, belongings, the celebration of happiness and sadness, dance, mask, food, the drum ancestors. Identified Themes: All participants have shown similar practices. The spirituality, medicinal, and communal traditional healings are incorporated in the material and non-material cultures in Africa. The social life and the community moral code is the strong component of the traditional healing practices. Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 66 Society Question 2: Of those traditional healing practices which ones do you currently use and why? 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Praying for ancestors, calling for ancestors, release the spirit. Al l experience knowledge remains with me. But not practice any of them because the Canadian belief system contradicts my belief system. Have not change my personality. I take it upon myself to meet people, chat, and discuss with African people. I have not practiced my tradition because there is no people to practice with. I do keep in touch with my own roots. Identified Themes: The participants acknowledge their knowledge and experiences of the traditional healing practices. Yet, they are unable to use the tradition due to lack of resources and fear of judgment by Canadians. The values and beliefs of Canadians contradict their traditional values and beliefs particularly the material tradition. However, they continue to use the non material (spiritual) aspect of traditional practices through daily praying. Question 3. Which ones have you ceased and why? 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Can't do all those tradition. Have not forgotten it. Practice in secret. Visiting people, because of restriction letting the person know, sharing food. Don't practice any except praying to ancestors. Identified Themes: Participants have ceased the material traditional practices because of the lack of people from their country of origin, resources, fear, and the time available. Yet, they have not stopped practicing the non-material part of their tradition and have continued to pray and connect to their ancestors. Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 67 Society Question 4. Do you wish to retain your traditional healing practices? 1 st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Yes, we need to establish a form of healing practice, body touch, massage, and social life. Yes, stick to my own tradition. Yes, something makes me different, from Canadian the traditional and social aspect of it. Yes, don't want to lose it. The connection with people, overall tradition, and identity I don't want to lose. Identified Themes: Participants not only wish to retain their tradition healing practices but also are confident in maintaining it. Since their tradition is an important means of healing, the participants do not wish to lose it. They would like to establish African traditional practices here so everyone can benefit from it. It is this traditional practice which makes them unique among Canadians and therefore they are determined to stick to their tradition and identity. Question 5. Identify factors, if any that currently help you to retain your traditional healing practices 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses People themselves. Nothing I could think of. Everything comes back to you. Nothing that I see. Identified Themes: Participants could not pin point significant factors that help them retain their traditional healing practices. However, associating with people of their country, and the memories from their countries are factors that help them retain the traditional healing practices. Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 68 Society Question 6. Identify factors, if any, that prevent you from retaining your traditional healing practices. 1 st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Not teaching the children, your own tradition, background, language and not being united Not able to practice. I am lost. No preventing factors. My identity feeling of isolation, Discrimination, stereotype, my anger, colors. Identified Themes: The absence of teaching and learning the tradition, the language, the social and the community values are factors that prevent participants from retaining their traditional healing practices. Participants have not felt the sense of belonging due to the fact that of Africans are scattered throughout the city. As a result, they experience loneliness and isolation to the degree where they have perceived rejection and discrimination because of their identity, color, and behavioral attributes. Hence these factors not only prevent them from practicing but also force them to blame their tradition for their challenges to resettle. Question 7. Do you think that the use of traditional healing practices helps you to resettle into Canadian society? 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses It's difficult because I do a lot more work in order to integrate. Yes, it reduce a lot of stress, I pray to talk to my ancestors and my ancestors are always around me. Yes, it helps me console myself. I able to sit down and make peace with myself and connect with my ancestors. Yes, my tradition helps me to settle anywhere; I can blend in, I can find myself. Identified Themes: The traditional healing practices play a significant role in their process of resettlement. It helps the participants to reduce stress, to keep in touch with themselves, and to cope and deal with the process of resettlement. They pray and connect to their ancestors when things are difficult and unbearable. Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 59 Society Question 8. Have you any experience in using social service agencies here in Canada? Is Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Yes, I have they are very accessible, non-discriminatory. Very helpful and encouraging. Yes, I have. They are not helpful. They need to know more about different cultures. They are trying and they are not sensitive. They are not helping to access they need to be aware of different cultures. Yes, they are supposed to help. But they have their own preference to help. They talk. They have not been helpful. Yes, but they have not been helpful. They are very discouraging. They put me in dead end job. Not the type of job I am looking for. Identified Themes: The participants experiences with social service agencies are not uniform. One participant for example, finds the experience encouraging, supportive and helpful. Where as the other 3 participants feel differently. The social service agencies for them were discouraging, insensitive, and not accepting. The workers on the other hand, were good people, they try their best with then-own preferences to accommodate them; yet, the participants feel that the workers' lack of cultural awareness seems as if they are not acting on this participant's behalf. Question 9. Identify healing practices, if any, that you have used from Canadian society, which you have found helpful or harmful? 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Philosophically they help to understand my situation and challenges and help me push myself to survive. It is not harmful at all. I learn my limit and in which I can tolerate. It is more interactive and individualist. I am able to have my own way. I don't hide behind anything. I do follow the protocol of the society. Moral values are different but if it help me to look within myself. Not to be in denial. I go on my own way. Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian Society Identified Themes: The Canadian tradition for these participants are considered helpful because their cultural and traditional differences are acknowledged. Canadian tradition has helped them to be more self aware, open, tolerant, assertive, and pushing them towards self survival. Question 10. Would you say that your effort is to settle into Canadian society? 1 st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Everything seems to go O.K. At this point I am trying to find peace to adapt. The process is overwhelming. What works well is having my own way. What is not working well is that I can't communicate. There is a silent law people seem very unhappy. When you simile people think you are crazy. Yes, but it is not easy it is a struggle. So I accept. Identified Themes: Resettling is the desire of these participants. However, the process has not been easy for them. They are struggling to find peace within themselves as they adapt to this society. They also find the process overwhelming for different reasons; one of which is communication, and the other being the culture shock where participants feel unclear about the norms of the Canadian society. Question 11. Do any of your traditional healing practices: help you to cope with difficulties? Prevents you from coping? 1 st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Yes, it is my roots, my culture help me to survive I am happy to create something for myself so that I can heal. Yes, my tradition is what keeps me going. Yes, it has helped me a great deal. I would visualize myself at home. I see life within my culture I try to resettle with it. Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 71 Society Identified Themes: The traditional healing practice as indicated in the previous data is significant for these participants. It helps them cope, remind them of their roots and survival skills, and give them strength. Therefore, the participants always find means to practice their tradition as they strive to adapt and resettle into Canadian society. Question 12. What would you suggest to African communities here in Victoria to do? 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Build an African community. Build one strong community. Build a strong African community. One strong association. Identified Theme: All participants would like to see one strong African community. Question 13. What are you going to do about it? Would you be part of it? 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Would like to participate. Interested to participate. Would like to participate. Would like to participate. Identified Theme: All have great interest to participate Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 72 Society SOUTH A F R I C A N PARTICIPANTS Participants Profile 1st Participant 2nd Participant 3rd Participant 4th Participant Age 33 47 24 27 Gender Female Male Male Female Marital Status Married Married Married Married Employment Status Employed Employed Employed Employed Length of stay in Canada More than 5 years More than 5 years More than 5 years Less than 5 years Question 1. What are your traditional healing practices, which you used in Africa? 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Traditional healers, natural things like roots chasing of evil spirits, village people, and community are the means for healing community oriented. Community support during good an difficult time. Spiritual and material ceremonies, community gathering. Traditional dance, community bond, sense of belonging, family tie sense of cohesiveness, extended family is very important. Togetherness helping one another, herb, holy water contribution of the whole community. Identified Themes: All participants identify healing practice in Africa as being a social practice where members of the community and extended families participate and contribute to the healing practices. Natural resources, spirituality, the calling of ancestors or removal of evil spirit as well as ceremonies, dance, and the overall togetherness shape the healing practices. Question 2: Of those traditional healing practices which ones do you currently use and why? 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses I don't practice any. Courage to share with my kids guides them African way. Getting together, respect elderly, sense of togetherness, trying to meet my obligation. I am trying to practice all. Identified Themes: The social link, the community, and the family, are maintained by 3 of the participants. One however has ceased all because of Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 73 Society religious change. Nevertheless, this individual has maintained the material aspect of her tradition. The traditional food, listening to music, and speaking the language with family and with fellow country people are the means to strengthen the tradition. However, all participants feel they don't have the opportunity to practice as often as would have liked. Question 3. Which ones have you ceased and why? 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant. Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses None of them I practice All - it contradicts with this society. I don't want to look strange. I don't. The society here is to individualist. Everyone is for himself or herself, respecting . parents. I never stop any. Although it is difficult not having enough people to practice with. Identified Themes: Two participants have ceased their tradition for the following reasons: First, their tradition has contradicted with Canadians, and this sets them up for fear of being exposed. Second, they felt the Canadian society promotes individualism and there is no respect to others. Finally, there are no people from their country of origin to practice with. The other two continue to practice then-tradition despite the difficulties they face. Question 4. Do you wish to retain your traditional healing practices? 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses No I have a different, religion today Yes, teaching the children, singing, and respect, for people. Yes, having a strong community. Yes togetherness. Identified Themes: With the exception of one participant all would like to retain their traditional healing practices. The process of teaching children, the community Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 74 Society bond, and the peoples respect for one another are the important part of the tradition they like to retain. The other participant does not wish to retain her tradition because she has found satisfaction with her new religious affiliations. Question 5. Identify factors, if any that currently help you to retain your traditional healing practices 1 st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Strong family relationship, togetherness, food, respects for parents, dresses. Traditional songs. Togetherness, respect of old peoples family member. My family and the children. Identified Themes: The family, community, the elders, and the traditional foods, songs, and clothing are significant for the continuation of their tradition. In fact, the family relationship, the children, and the idea of togetherness influence these participants to maintain and retain their tradition. Question 6. Identify factors, if any, that prevent you from retaining your traditional healing practices. 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Lack of people, lack of cultural influence on children. My tradition is opposite to Canadian, culture shock for me to practice. Individualism of the Canadian society. Hard to get together when you need to. Nothing stops me from practicing my tradition. Identified Themes: Although nothing has stopped one participant from practicing his traditions; the others have indicated factors which prevents them from practicing. The lack of human resources, the contradictive nature of African tradition with the Canadians, the individualistic philosophy of Canadian society, Elias Cheboud, 1998. the African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian Society 75-and the lack of cultural influence on the children prevents them from retaining their traditional healing practices. Question 7. Do you think that the use of traditional healing practices helps you to resettle into Canadian society? 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses It does riot help me. It is very difficult there is no people. Yes, because it helps the moral, spiritual aspect of my resettlement and help me to be strong. I would think so but I wouldn't be too sure about that. This society enforces different characteristics. I do the best possible. I have to conform to the value already set for me. Yes, it does. Identified Themes: The traditional healing practices do help participants resettle. However, the lack of people to practice with, has made the process less significant. Nonetheless, the tradition helps the moral and spiritual characteristics of the participants. It gives them the strength to conform to the values of the new society. Question 8. Have you any experience in using social service agencies here in Canada? 1 st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Yes, they are very helpful. Yes, they were encouraging and helpful. Yes, they are helpful. Yes, they are helpful. Identified Themes: The participants' social service agencies experiences were positive. They found the agencies encouraging, supportive and helpful. This shows, the needs of these participants were met as they expected. Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian Society 76 Question 9. Identify healing practices, if any, that you have used from Canadian society, which you have found helpful or harmful? 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Help me push myself. No comment. I don't think I have, but I have a little bit of western value in me. I recognize that such as Valentine, Halloween. No, I still maintain my own. Identified Themes: Two participants preferred not to use the Canadian tradition for unexplained reasons. One participant abstained from answering the question. The other participant feels that the Canadian tradition has helped to push him forward in the process of resettlement. Question 10. Would you say that your effort is to settle into Canadian society? 1 st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Yes, no farther comment. Yes, no farther comment, I have not made up my mind. But I don't think so. I don't think I fit no matter what. Yes, I am working but the cultural difference, and language is a struggle. Identified Themes: One participant does not have the desire to resettle into Canadian society because he has not found the sense of belonging. Where as the rest of the participants do have the desire to resettle in Canada despite their differences in tradition. Question 11. Do any of your traditional healing practices: help you to cope with difficulties? Prevents you "from coping? 1 st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Yes, the food the songs, the feeling of home help me cope. Yes, it helps me. Anytime I face crises I go back to my traditional ways. It helps me to relax. Not really I just do what I have to do. I don't think about my tradition. Yes, I pray it help. Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 77 Society Identified Themes: The traditional healing practices do help the 3 participants. They manage to cope with their daily difficulties through traditional songs, foods, family, memories, and prayer. The other participant does not feel the need to even think about tradition. This participant sees the tradition as irrelevant to the living condition of Canada. Question 12. What would you suggest to African communities here in Victoria to do? 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Would like to see one strong African association.. One strong African association. A strong African association. A strong African association. Identified Theme: All participants would like to see one strong African association. Question 13. What are you going to do about it? Would you be part of it? 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Would like to participate. Very interested to participate. Willing to participate. Would participate. Identified Theme: All participants are very interested to participate in being part of an African association. Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 78 Society NORTH AFRICA PARTICIPANTS Participants Profile 1st Participant 2nd Participant 3rd Participant 4th Participant Age 20 27 . 52 37 Gender Female Female Female Male Marital Status Single Single Married Single Employment Status Employed Employed Unemployed Employed Length of stay in Canada More than 5 years More than 5 years More than 5 years Less than 5 years Question 1. What are your traditional healing practices, which you used in Africa? 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Very communal, mostly family oriented always people around you for emotional, physical, spiritual, elderly are spiritual language and personal attachment is significant. Religion, family, community. Communal, everybody concern with each other. The togetherness, support by everyone. Food, music, next of kin, traditional healers, natural medicine. To be together, Al l the community celebration. Identified Themes: Strong community, family, ancestral and spiritual connection are the foundation of the tradition, as well as the natural remedies for this region. Question 2: Of those traditional healing practices which ones do you currently use and why? 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Try to choose as many of the tradition as possible. I use herb and combine it with native American medicine and spirituality. Not practice; busy working. Inconvenient for me. Music, electronic highway, newspaper. My family language, phone call to my family, friends. I don't, has no family here. Identified Themes: One participant tries to blend the traditional practice of both the material and non material healing with the tradition that they closely relate to in Canada. The First Nations practice fits with this participant's needs. The others Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 79 Society continue to use their tradition through different means when time permits. Because life. in Canada is fast, the time available to focus on tradition is limited. Nonetheless, technology (i.e. the use of e-mail), music, language, socializing with other Africans are practiced. Question 3. Which ones have you ceased and why? 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Praying traditional way of Islam, other very important, tradition has been suspended due to the busy lifestyle. Al l , I don't have to worry about it. Does not stress me out. The language. Wish couldn't cease. Identified Themes: The participants have ceased the traditional healing practices. They have experienced difficulties praying in a traditional manner due to the busy life style. The language too, have been ceased due to the absence of people from the same country. One participant does not see the need to practice the tradition. Question 4. Do you wish to retain your traditional healing practices? 1 st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Yes, very important to retain my tradition, the philosophy. Getting together, talking about, what we are all about exchanging information, music. Yes, likes tradition, celebration, and people connection. Yes, The human respects the relationship between old and young. Identified Themes: The overall tradition and the philosophy that frame the healing practice such as the sharing, the gathering, the celebrations, and the human respect are most important to these participants. They indeed wish to retain them. Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 80 Society Question 5. Identify factors, if any, that currently help you to retain your traditional healing practices 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses My will and personality, my friends, family, people around me. Friend and Family. I like my culture, music, everything that comes with it. I look inside myself the souvenir from my home, and the memories. Identified Themes: The friends, family, the music, and the memories are factors that currently help them retain and maintain their traditional healing practices. The individual, family, community, and traditional prides, are significant to influence the tradition. Question 6. Identify factors, if any, that prevent you from retaining your traditional healing practices 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Everything I see prevents me. The building, car, people. That is as far as I see. Busy in my life, Can't make time. I feel squeezed out. Unemployed is a big problem. I feel stuck, isolated, no place to go, not to many people from my country. Not a big deal, freedom to practice is there. Identified Themes: For the first 3 participants the social environment, the people and the busy lifestyle not only prevents them from practicing their traditional healing practices, but also makes them feel squeezed, stuck, and isolated. One participant could not see barriers that block the traditional healing practices. Question 7. Do you think that the use of traditional healing practices helps you to resettle into Canadian society? 1 st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses No, because I was young when I came to Canada. Everything was different. I don't think too much about my culture. I will stick to my tradition and help me to cope. Yes, with the new technology. You can be home like magic. Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 81 Society Identified Themes: Two participants could not associate their traditional healing practice to their resettlement process because one was young at the time of migration and the other does not have time. On the other hand, the remaining two use their tradition to help them ease their resettlement process. One particular participant uses technology to reach home for traditional consolation. Question 8. Have you any experience in using social service agencies here in Canada? 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Not helpful. Yes have used services. Yes, they help. Yes, they were very encouraging, nice people. Yes, they are very helpful. Identified Themes: Participants have used social service agencies for different reasons. Three of the participants have had the satisfaction with the services and have found workers encouraging and helpful. Where as one participant feels the opposite. Question 9. Identify healing practice, if any, that you have used from Canadian society, which you have found helpful or harmful? 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Yes, healing is a spiritual matter. The First Nation I incorporate a lot. I am more assertive, independent, outspoken. That is a Canadian tradition I took. Yes, I took courses such as: therapeutic touch and . I pray my way and Canadian way. Yes, I start to eat Canadian food but truly it's hard to know what is a Canadian way. Is it First Nation or European settlers? Anyway who is a Canadian? Identified Themes: The First Nations spirituality, therapeutic touch, assertiveness, and the Canadian diet are helpful Canadian traditions. Since healing is a spiritual Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 82 Society matter, incorporating both their own with the Canadian provide comfort in their process of resettlement. Question 10. Would you say that your effort is to settle into Canadian society? 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses I don't think so. I am always in between back and forth the idealism is difficult. They rely in books not in stories as a result I can't pass so it does bother me. Yes, I consider Canada is my home. I grew up here. My family is here. It works well for me. Yes, Canada is very interesting country. It is working well for me in general but what is not working well is no human contact. Everything is through a machine Yes, what is working well, no surprises, what is not working well is to access to a career. Identified Theme: With the exception of one participant they do have a desire to resettle in Canada and are willing to face the challenges. Question 11. Do any of your traditional healing practices help you to cope with difficulties? Prevents you from coping? 1 st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Absolutely, Praying help me cope with the society, which is different from mine, I am able to see people together. It does not stress me out. Because we are treated the same directly or indirectly. I try to accept my surrounding. Yes, my tradition helps me cope in many ways. Yes it helps me. My stress is elevated that way. Identified Themes: One participant has given up her traditional healing practices; instead, uses the available resources to cope with difficulties. The others however use and rely on their traditional practices whenever they experience difficulties or when they need to cope with societal challenges. Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 83 Society Question 12. What would you suggest to African communities here in Victoria to do? 1st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant Verbatim Responses 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Would like to see a community established. Very interested to see an African community. A strong African association. One strong African association. Identified Theme: All participants would be interested in establishing an African association. Question 13. What are you going to do about it? Would you be part of it? 1 st Participant Verbatim Responses 2nd Participant Verbatim Responses 3rd Participant 4th Participant Verbatim Responses Would like to participate. Yes, would like to be part of it. Willing to participate. Would like to participate. Identified Theme: All participants are willing and interested to participate. Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 84 Society Chapter 5 ANALYSIS Introduction The inquiry of African immigrants' use of traditional healing practices as part of their process of resettlement into Canadian society has been fulfilling for two reasons: First, the literature has reflected general aspects of African traditional healing in Africa which suggests two distinct traditional practice bases significant to maintaining, securing, and enhancing the well-being of the community, the family, and the individual. These two distinct practice bases are: the material culture, that is the visible tradition or the physical object; and the non-material culture, that is the invisible tradition or the abstract concepts. Second, the participants here, in Victoria, Canada, have shown a non-uniform response to the inquiry, yet have significant ties to the literature. The regional structure of their traditions in the data was distinguished to examine what is most important about their healing concepts and practices. Both sources on African traditional healing practices (i.e. the literature and the data) fit with theories identified earlier. Migration theory supports the African immigrants' reliance on their traditional practices as a means to keep their moral, psychological, physical, social and spiritual well-being. Settlement theory similarly supports such practices in order to achieve a less stressful settlement in a new social environment. Adaptation Theory too advocates for traditional practices Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 85 Society as a means to adapt. Structural theory identifies not only the cultural structure as an encouraging or discouraging factor in migration, adaptation, and settlement but also distinguishes societal structure as being a major factor in the acceptance or rejection of new members to the social environment. Because the social structure have control over both the selection and the expectation of its new members. In this chapter, the interpretation of the data and the evaluation of the literature are presented in critical context. The question of what traditional healing practices African immigrants use and/or ceased using during the process of resettlement into Canadian society was the first and foremost inquiry of this research.. This inquiry was important for two reasons: first, the result would inform social service professionals about African immigrant traditional characteristics, their values, beliefs, and their means of coping. Second, the findings could be useful to African immigrants here in Canada. Traditional Healing In Africa The Individual The traditional characteristics of the individual in all five regions of Africa are a reflection of both the material culture and non-material culture. The data indicated that for the individual, to maintain or seek well being, one has to transplant simultaneously both the material and non-material culture as a means to heal. However, the individual connection to family, community, and tribe is what Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian g6 Society helps him/her through the process of seeking or maintaining well being. Since the tradition is shaped through both material and non-material culture, the social environment has a great influence on the individual; therefore, the process links the individual to all members within the social environment. In other words, the practice of the individual is congruent with those of the family, the community, or the tribe. Whether the individual healing attempts are through material culture (i.e. scaring over body, dancing, costumes, herb, drawing, clothing, and use of fire and water), or through non-material culture (i.e. calling of the ancestors, incantation, the chasing of evil spirit, and the over all spiritual exercise), the expected outcomes are within the frame of family, community, and tribal values and beliefs. This influence on practice can be inferred from structural theory. The theory indicates that the social system shapes the individual's expectation of well being. In other words, the broader structural order of the society, including the prevailing ideology interact with traditional values to manifest the individual practices (Mullaly, 1993). In fact, the literature reviewed supports the dual influence of cultural and social attributes. Therefore, the social structure dictates the outcome of the individual's activities or practices . The Family The African family bond influences each other in order to maintain the larger community and tribal tradition. Furthermore, the family sets standards, guides the activities, and controls what, how, and when to practice the tradition Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 87 Society within the context of the larger society. Family plays the most important role in transmitting and transplanting traditions as defined within the social environment that they belong to. In Africa, the emotional, psychological, social, spiritual, and economic sources are assumed by the head of the family and the extended family members. The learning and the teaching of tradition starts within the family (Last & Chavunduka, 1986; & Haviland 1991). In fact, throughout the data, the significance of family to acquiring the knowledge, skill and practice of traditions was dominant. Both material and non-material cultures are formulated within the family unit. The rituals, ceremonies, symbols and herbs are practiced in reference to the family habits and belief systems. For example, the carving of masks or totem, the scaring of one's body, the selection of herbs are materially significant to the identity and class of the family. In the same fashion, the ancestral connection, the spiritual call, and the values and beliefs of the non material tradition are influenced through the families' bond. Theoretically, the family is the first and foremost powerful agent of social control as is in the Western world. As a result, the family maintains its members to respect the traditional values and beliefs within, as well as integrate to the larger community and social folkways, mores, and norms. However, if one chooses to challenge the practices of the family, one has to challenge the social structure first. Structurally, "personal is political" even within an African tradition. Traditional Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 88 Society healing practices are influenced by means of the family bond but the family must practice within the frame of community and tribal norms and values. The Community The African Community is very influential to individuals and families in -I terms of shaping social norms, values, and beliefs. Each community has its own unique distinction as to how tradition is practiced. In fact, throughout the data, the sense of belonging to the community, the sharing with, the chatting, the togetherness, the sense of conformity, the exchange of material and non-material tradition, the community elder's power and the healers were most important in Africa. Healing practice in Africa therefore is a collective effort, involving the community beyond family and extended families. The members within the community display uniform values, traditional non institutional (i.e. Islam or Christian) beliefs, responsibilities, and expectations. There are common standards specific to each community distinguishing them from the others within the tribe. When the tribe occasionally gathers together, the material traditional symbols and the non material traditional behaviors distinguish one community from the other within the tribe. The ceremonies, the dance, and the spiritual symbols are community specific. Traditional healing therefore is a mutual practice with the community members. Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 89 Society The Tribe Traditional healing practice for Africans, in Africa, may seem complex to understand. The individual, the family, and the community may have been the forefront players, reference point, the value base, and role model of the traditional practice; nonetheless, the tribe is the cornerstone for all mentioned above. It is the tribe that governs and sets the social structure and traditional rules and regulations. For example, the language, the social and economic organizations, and political representation are evolved from the tribes in Africa. Therefore, either the material traditions that are used to maintain or retain well being, or the non material tradition are structured within the moral codes of the tribe. Even the uniqueness of communities within the tribe can only be distinct in reference to the tribe. Hence, the tribes in Africa are the frame as well as the social structure of the traditional healing practice. African Immigrants Traditional Healing Practice In Canada The African immigrant traditional healing practices in Canada were difficult to locate in the literature. However, the data provides a general overview of then-practice in Canada. Most participants from all five regions of Africa have indicated the traditional practices they use are specific to their needs. In other words, they use the material and non material traditions individually and communally with family, and with people from other African countries. They are selective as to which tradition they should use and which one they must avoid Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 90 Society because of different reasons. For example, fear of being exposed to prejudices, contradicting the Canadian tradition, and a lack of resources as well as people to practice with are the factors that discourage them from practicing their traditions. On the other hand, their daily stresses connect them back to their healing practice. Throughout the data, responses to the research questions were not uniform. Individuals who have no family or people from their countries, see the traditional healing practices much differently from those who have family and community relations with people from their countries This is significant in their pace of resettlement. The absence of people to some participants limits their ability to socialize and to face challenges in the new society. Single (unmarried) participants have indicated that practicing their traditional healing practices were difficult for them for the following reasons: First they are unable to connect with people of their countries in Victoria. Second, the individualistic nature of Canadian society within the urban life style was discouraging. Third, they don't have time due to the time required to meet their daily needs. Most single participants have ceased and have become far removed from their traditional healing practices. Fourth, they sense fear of contradicting the social norm, which they feel does not promote respect for people. Finally, language, which they believe, is their traditional foundation has been put on hold indefinitely. Those who are married and have connection to people of their countries, have not ceased their traditional practices. They are able to maintain their tradition Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 91 Society with their families and through their community which they identify with. This is not to suggest that they do not face barriers when practicing or attempting to practice; instead, this is just to indicate the differences between those who are single and married participants. Married participants and those who have family and friends in all five regions indicated that they are not willing to cease their traditional healing practices. They have strong ties to tradition due to families, group gatherings, prayers, social functions, music, food, and ceremonial materials from their country of origin. These differences between those who maintain traditional healing practices and those who have ceased are significant knowledge for social service and human service professional. For example, the participants' length of stay, immigration categories, employment status, and age of participants have no significant influence to maintain or cease the traditional healing practices. The most important factor influencing their perception to either maintain or cease was the presence or absence of family and people from their country within the social environment they are living in. In other words, the social structure encourages or discourages the traditional practices. Those who are isolated from their traditional references, their needs and expectation of social service agencies or human service professionals are different. For example, such participants have indicated then-social service agencies experience as being discouraging and unhelpful. Whereas Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 92 Society those who have traditional references (i.e. family, friend, and community) have praised the services. These two different views of the social service agency's' experience can be explained through structural social work theory. This theory helps professionals to understand why and how the larger social structure influences the success and/or the failure of their services to African immigrants. The social structure, the environment, the power dynamics, the social rewards and institutional restriction for example are significant factors for African immigrants to seek or receive professional services. Throughout the data participants repeatedly highlighted the structural barriers. Participants stop their tradition so they can avoid contradiction with Canadian social structure and norms. Otherwise, they all would like to retain and maintain their traditional practices. Do African immigrants rely on their traditional healing practices to ease their resettlement process? This is true for those who have the family and community connection. The others who are without any connections, the traditional healing practices are no longer significant factors to their resettlement process;, especially, those who came from Central, East, West, and Southern African regions. They feel their presence in Canada is temporary. They are only in Canada until the political condition in their country changes. Whereas participants from the Northern region of Africa feel Canada is their home and their resettlement process Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 93 Society has been less stressful due to their ability to link their tradition to the traditions in Canada such as The First Nations. Perhaps, one could explain the North African participants' differences to the rest of African regions through the following theories. First, settlement theory which acknowledges the significance of the individual's country of origin and cultural orientation for successful resettlement in the new social environment (Piore, 1979). If the immigrant identifies him/herself with the new society (i.e. color, language, social norm and environment), then the process becomes less stressful. In fact, the impact of the traditional differences according to settlement theory is not immediate for these people. These groups of immigrant enjoy at least the first stage of the resettlement process, the honeymoon stage. For the Central, East, West, and Southern African immigrants, the impact is upon arrival due to the many layers of differences between the two cultures. They experience culture shock first instead of the honeymoon stage. It takes them much longer time to access employment and to understand the social norms. As a result, they feel pulled by their traditional memories and cultural attributes. Second, Adaptation theory examines factors that influence adaptation. The North African participants adaptation process is less stressful compared to the others. North African participants indicated that they could easily relate their values, beliefs and experiences to those of the Canadians. The rest of the participants in contrast, could not relate because of cultural differences, language, and social environment. Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 94 Society These factors are important in adaptation theory as being the deciding factors to accept or reject the expected social norms. Finally, Migration theory, identifies the causes and consequences of human movement. All participants fit in one of the variables of Migration theory. Africans who participated in this research have come to Canada due to political and economic securities. However, the distribution of regional migration among Africans leans more towards political migration for Central, East, West, and Southern Africa than the North Africans who are economic migrants. The political migrants are forced migrants who seek safety and security. In other words, they are refugees. The economic migrants are migrants whose intentions are to work and resettle. Therefore, the political migrants continue to use their traditional healing practices in order to ease their stressful temporary resettlement process. The economic migrants also use their tradition directly or indirectly incorporating Canadian tradition. Nonetheless, the use of traditional healing practices, especially, praying to ancestors, connecting to fellow country people, sharing feelings, food, music, and socializing are stronger among Central, East, West and Southern Africans than the North African participants. Yet from all African regions, participants see the formation of one strong African Association as what makes it possible to maintain their traditional healing practices. As a result, they are all ready to participate to form such community. . Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 95 Society Chapter 6 Discussion and Recommendation Introduction In this chapter, the participants responses to the research questions are discussed in relationship to the theories in the literature review. This chapter also presents the conclusion and recommendations of the study. Discussion of Participants' Responses #1. What are your traditional healing practices, which you used in Africa? This question was asked to determine how knowledgeable participant are of their own traditional healing practices for the purposes of maintaining or retaining to prior to coming to Canada. According to the Structural theory, a tradition is an expression of one aspect of social, communal, and family life to which one becomes aquatinted or restricted by the prevailing structure of opportunities. Therefore the response to this question ties to the explanations of the literature as well as to the structural theory. The responses from all regions have reflected somewhat identical practices. The family, community, society (tribe), spirituality (ancestors) and the use of natural resources were the common means of traditional healing practices for all participants in the study. The ceremonies, the role distributions within family and the community at large, and the moral code of the Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 96 Society society were the frame of the traditional healing practices as expressed in the data as we l l as i n the literature review (Achebe, 1958; Sarpong, 1974; L e w i s 1977; & Sul l ivan 1989). #2 Of those traditional healing practices which ones do you currently use and why? After understanding the participants knowledge base o f their traditional healing practices, question #2 examined where they were i n terms of maintaining their w e l l being in reference to their traditions. The data has shown an interesting variabi l i ty in the participants' responses. Al though none of the participants have indicated a lack of knowledge about their traditional practices, their views of evaluating the importance of tradition varied among the five regions. For example, Central Af r i c an participants currently use theL tradition of socialization with their fe l low country people by means o f creating strong community ties. S imi la r ly , East Af r i can , participants continue to use their traditional diets, music, social iz ing and sharing among their people. West A f r i c a n participants on the other hand, are more into their non material culture (i.e. praying, and connecting to their ancestral spirits) than the material one. South Af r i can participants l ike the Central and the East regions, are able to maintain their social l ink through their community where they find the opportunity to share their foods, music, and speak their language as we l l as influencing them to keep their Elias Cheboud. 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 97 Society traditional family relationships. Nor th Af r i can participants, who seem to be different from the rest of the participants managed to blend their tradition wi th the traditions of other Canadians as they saw fit. In other words, when ever they are unable to access resources from their tradition, they were able to seek and accept alternatives wi th in their new social environment. For example, they see the First Nat ion ' s spiritual traditional practice as being relatively s imilar to their own. They also use their language, music, and technology to socialize and connect to their traditional roots. The traditional practice differences could be explained through adaptation and settlement theories. Adaptat ion theory helps us, to understand in wh ich stage o f the adaptation process these participants are. For example, according to The Inter-Cultural Associa t ion Volunteer Trair. ing M a n u a l (Author and year of publicat ion unknown), the first stage of adaptation is an understanding of the language of the host society. Al though a l l participants were interviewed in Eng l i sh , they indicated that their accents and the feeling o f not choosing the right words to explain their thoughts were barriers and slowed the Central , East, South, and West Af r i can participants process of adaptation. Whereas, Nor th Af r i can participants showed no similarity with the above participants. They were able to l i nk their values, beliefs.and traditions to the society they adapted into. Settlement theory also can explanation these differences. Settlement theory suggests several process stages one has to go through i n order to resettle. Stages Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 98 Society such as (1) honeymoon, (2) culture shock, (3) ini t ia l adjustment, (4) mental isolat ion and (5) acceptance and integration. One way of look ing at this theory is to l ink it wi th the migration theory. A l m o s t a l l Central , East, South, and West Af r i can participants fit into the explanation presented in the pol i t ica l migrat ion theory. These participants came to Canada because they were forced to leave their countries. Nor th Af r i can participants in contrast, fit into the economic migrat ion theory because these participants planned to leave their countries and resettle in Canada. The use of traditional practices in the social environment therefore, depends on the experience i n resettlement. Throughout the data, the pol i t ica l migrants, reflected settlement stages of 2, 3, and 4. Whereas the economic migrant (the Northern region) were able to experience al l settlement stages (1, 2, 3, 4, and 5). These theories explain whether the participants or abstained from their traditional practices as they adapted and resettled into their new environment. #3 Which ones have you ceased and why ? Participants from all regions have not totally ceased their traditional healing practices. However , they have pointed out factors that were influential in the deciding use of their practices. Such factors as the absence of people from their country of or igin, the host society life style (i.e. time and space), cultural differences, lack of resources and fear of contradicting traditions were factors that discouraged participants from practicing their traditions. This question helps us to Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 99 Society identify how the host social structure encourages or discourages participants from maintaining or g iv ing up their traditions. Here again, structural theory can help us to interpret those perceived factors mentioned above. The participants success or failure to continue or cease their traditional healing practices are the reflection o f the larger social structure that they are resettled into. Therefore the participants perceptions o f the social environment, the institutional powers and the overal l system has a bearing on the continuation or cessation of such practices. #4 Do you wish to retain your traditional healing practices? Except one participant, al l have agreed that they wish to retain their traditional healing practices. This is an important question for two reasons: First, it captures the participant's emotional, psychological , social, and environmental ties to their traditions as wel l 'as the degree of their commitment to maintain and also retain their traditional practices. The' responses were very uniform for this question. They a l l wou ld want to retain the community l ife, the sense o f togetherness and belonging, the social bonds, the family relationships, the celebrations, the human respect and the over all philosophy of the traditions. These are the most important traditional practices that participants wished to keep as a part o f their identity that makes them unique from the Canadians. A s indicated earlier the above characteristics are what shape and frame the Af r i can traditional healing practices. The theoretical reflection of these responses perhaps could be Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 100 Society explained by the structural theory. A c c o r d i n g to the structural theory, these group of participants have not felt the support, the confidences, and the social acceptance to practice their traditions. The social structure of the host society may have been the dominant factor for the participants to perceive systematic restriction and/or rejection of their healing practices. For example, do Victorians know about the A f r i c a n immigrants ' perceptions towards practicing their traditions? H o w about the human social service professionals? Second this question also highlights the participants' level of association and desire to create a community. Since a l l participants except the one person, wished to retain their traditions, by the formation of a sustainable community for Af r i can immigrants. Structural theory can be useful in explaining how to develop a community that can be effective to empower and organize these participants in order to fu l f i l l their wish to retain and maintain their traditional healing practices. #5. Identify factors, if any, that currently help you to retain your traditional healing practice ? The most significant factor identified by a l l participants were the memories of their traditional practices back in A f r i c a . Nonetheless, factors such as their cultural foods, music, clothing, and the establishing friendship, the nuclear family and contact wi th other groups of Af r i can did hefp participants to retain and /or maintain their traditional practices. The intention of this question was to Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 1 (J | Society understand what factors motivate participants to appreciate and use their traditional healing practices as part of the resettlement process. These factors may suggest that participant's are still functioning with their own traditional lifestyles and memories to the degree where the host society has no impact to help them retain or maintain the traditions. This feeling could be referred to structural exclusion where participants have only their tradition to fa l l back on. A s participant indicated on question 4 , they need to organize and affect the social structure in order to maximize factors that help them retain their tradition. #6 Identify factors, if any, that prevent you from retaining your traditional healing practices? Participants from al l regions responded to this question when responding to previous questions as we l l as to this one and the questions that fo l low. A l t h o u g h factors that have been identified so far indicted how separation from their people impacted on their concepts of continuing traditions, their perceived relationship wi th the society has come to be the significant factor for them i n restricting them from retaining their traditional healing practices. The question is important for all participants to deconstruct their perceptions as we l l as to seek answers to their assumptions. Fo r example, factors that are identified as a barrier to retain their traditional practices are: the fear of negative judgment by Canadians; the idea of contradicting Canadian values and beliefs; the life style itself wh ich is fast and Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian ) 02 Society l imi ted; the lack of people from their country of or igin; the differences o f family and community relationships; the lack of recognize groups of Afr icans for them to feel welcome to; the feeling of isolation and loneliness; and most of a l l , perceived noted identity, color and accents as reasons for participants to encounter discrimination and prejudice to the degree where the core use of their traditional healing practices are decrease. These perceived factors have been common to a l l participants despite their length o f stay i n Canada, marital status, employabil i ty, age, or gender. Perhaps structural theory wou ld be more useful in explaining the participants' experiences and perception o f these factors. Since the structural theory does not blame the v ic t im , the participants' experiences should be referred to the social structure and the means of integration available to the immigrants. What is there in the society to help immigrants to encourage such activities for immigrants? T o reflect on these questions, the formal structures of Canadian society may indeed have many resources i n place for all immigrants but the applicabil i ty to specific groups is questionable. In terms of programs, many institutions design programs for immigrants, yet the val idi ty of these programs could be questionable. There are many settlement workers and social workers wi th in these institutions but to what degree they are aware of the factors that restrict immigrants from retaining their traditional healing practices remains a question. Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 103 Society #7 Do you think that the use of traditional healing practices help you to resettle into Canadian society? This question provided the needed information about Af r i can immigrants use of traditional healing practices as a means to ease their resettlement process. It also gives an overview of the extent to wh ich they use their traditions for the purposes of resettlement. The previous questions have identified their knowledge of the traditions in A f r i c a , where they are at today in terms of their practice, how the new society has encouraged or discouraged them to maintain or cease their tradition, to what extent they tied themselves with their tradition, what motivates them to stick to their tradition, and what influences them to be removed from their traditions. This question and the questions that fo l low focuses on their experience as they try to resettle in Canada. Except two Nor th Afr ican participants, al l others use their traditional healing practices to help them through the process of resettlement. Thei r traditions not only gave them the sense of identity, pride, and spiritual anchor, but also gave them the confidence to cope and reduce their stresses and face the unpredictable challenges. These respondents have indicated that it is their traditions that help them assume the sense of wellness as we l l as a positive attitudes to accept and face the resettlement challenges. In fact for East Af r i can participants, the traditional healing practices were significant for their survival as we l l as they meet the demands of Canadian society's. This feeling has been expressed by participants Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian ] 04 Society from other regions differently. Nonetheless, they a l l feel that without their traditional practices they wou ld have been demoralized, wh ich could then push them to conform to the society expectation of their resettlement. However , they pray, share feelings with fel low Afr icans , speak their languages, and maintain the traditional family relationships as a means to gain the strength and confidence necessary to resettle in their own way. These aspects of participants' values and beliefs about their traditions is explained through the settlement theory. Since they are i n an unfamil iar environment, the settlement process could be overwhelming and pu l l them to rely on their traditions as an instrument to reduce their anxiety. Because these experiences push them to resettle as w e l l as pu l l them to reconnect to their traditions stresses the eased in the process. Settlement theory therefore acknowledge these participants' experience as a typical process one has to go through when resettling in a new social environment. #8 Have you any experience in using Social Sendee agencies here in Canada. A l l participant had the experience of using Soc ia l Service agencies. Fo r the most part, the agencies have been supportive of the respondents. Especia l ly , the professionals who have served these groups of participants have been acknowledged as being welcoming , encouraging, helpful and supportive o f them. However , there are other aspects of the professional that the participants were unhappy about. The Central Af r i c an participants felt that the professionals were Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 105 Society restricted by agencies and government polices from being flexible to do what was intended or needed. The Eastern Afr ican participant on the other hand, perceived the social service professional as insensitive to cultural differences. The Western A f r i c a n found the social service professionals showed a lack of cultural awareness. The Southern and Northern participants praised the social service professionals. These experiences wi th social service agencies are important indicators of the social service professionals' level of understanding about the Af r i can immigrants ' needs and expectations of the services. W h e n their need or expectations becomes unacknowledged, the participants' perception of the service becomes negative and as a result, they withdraw from seeking help. Such perception could be explained through the lens of the structural theory. Because the agencies are structured mainly to meet the funders' expectations, their missions and promises become restricted by the pol i t ical and social structure. The participants therefore perceive an institutional rejection when their needs are unmet. It is important to service providers to understand the ways to better serve the help seekers. The workers ' good intentions have been recognized by participants but the workers have not recognized the participants' expectations. Th i s discrepancy needs to be clar if ied by reevaluating the workers ' cultural awareness as we l l as the agencies' functional mandate. Th i s question is important not only to f ind out what A f r i c a n immigrants perceived of the service agencies but also to help the professionals understand their level of awareness about Af r i can immigrants. Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 106 Society #9 Identify healing practice, if any, that you have used from Canadian society which you have found helpful or harmful? Participants from al l regions have experimented with some of the Canadian traditions wh ich they have found both helpful and harmful. What have they found helpful was the concept of assertiveness, effective use of time, the openness, self awareness and the spiritual connections and therapeutic touch. These aspects of the Canadian tradition have helped most participants to be more self reliant and confident, thus making the resettlement process somewhat comforting. O n the other hand, Canadian traditions were considered harmful to them for the fo l lowing reasons. First, they found it very contradictory to their o w n traditions, wh ich emphasizes more individuali ty, thus undermining the sense o f community and interdependency. Second, the government involves itself in family issues, encouraging family separation, displacements of the children, and divorce. F a m i l y problems can become exaggerated without understanding the underlying traditional issues. A l though the obvious traditional differences are significant to the use or abstinence from Canadian ways of doing things, a l l participants have gained important experience from it. These results also can be understand through the interpretation of the adaptation theory. The participants' degree of understanding of the new social Elias Cheboud. 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian ] 07 Society environment determines their acceptance or rejection of the traditions they are adapting to. Perhaps these participants are in the position to understand and distinguish Canadian traditions in reference to their own because of their l inguist ic ski l l s . Those who do not yet understand the language may have different perceptions about the same question. #10. Would you say that your effort is to settle into Canadian society? F i v e participants from Central, East, and Southern A f r i c a do not have the desire to resettle in Canada. These participants do not see themselves as having a future in Canada because they can't relate to Canadians. A s soon as their countries' pol i t ical situation changes, they are ready to go back to their countries of or igin . Whereas for 15 participants, Canada is home and they w i l l do what is necessary to resettle. These responses could best be explained through the migrat ion theory. The commitment to resettle depends on their reason for migration. Those who are pol i t ical migrants have established families have the commitment to cal l Canada their home. However , the same migrants who have no family preferred to go back when their country's pol i t ical environment changes. O n the other hand, despite traditional differences the economic migrants are ready to face the challenges and resettle. Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian 108 Society #11. Do any of your traditional healing practices help you to cope with difficulties? Prevents you from coping? Seventeen of the twenty participants rely on their traditional heal ing practices in order to cope with their daily difficulties. They use songs from their countries, pray to their ancestors, connect to Africans during social gatherings, and keep up traditional family relationships. The other three see their traditions as irrelevant to the l i v i n g conditions of Canadian society. They feel that their traditions in fact block the speed of their adaptation and eventually their resettlement process. Instead of their traditions however, they use available resources wi th in the society to help them cope wi th their difficulties. This question reveals to what degree participants apply or avoid their traditional healing practices. What is learned from these respondents, is that the majority of participants regardless o f their length of stay in Canada, gender, marital status, and employabi l i ty do rely on and trust their traditions when they face challenges or daily difficulties. These beliefs indicate their ability to adapt and resettle in the new environment. Al though some of the participants have changed the course of their traditional practices due to lack of affiliation with people from their country, they have pointed out how they maintain some of their traditions. Socia l connections reminds them o f their roots and helps them maintain their survival ski l ls . A s a result, they maintain their strengths and w e l l being as they strive to Elias Cheboud, 1998. The. African-Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian ] 09 Society adapt and resettle into Canadian society. The adaptation theory helps to explain the perceive factor of the participants reactions. #72. What would you suggest to African communities here in Victoria to do? The response to this question was unanimous. A l l participants have suggested that Afr icans organize and create a strong community. A communi ty that plays, a significant role for Afr icans as w e l l as for Vic tor ians . The need to establish one association was repeatedly highlighted for three reasons: First, one united association wou ld be a starting point for the new generation to look at in order to gain pride in who they are and learn and appreciate Af r i can traditions. Second, this association is important because it w i l l bu i ld a bridge between Afr icans and Vic to r ian through cultural exchanges. Thi rd , the association wou ld be significant to Af r i can immigrants social and economic w e l l being as we l l as provide them with institutional recognition. These response to the question clarify what the participants' social needs are i n order to maintain and retain their traditional healing practices. #13. What are you going to do about it? Would you be part of it? A g a i n a l l participants have shown a great interest in making one association possible. They w i l l start networking, organizing, and advertising as soon as possible. These responses emphasize many of the underlying feelings in all the Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian ] 1 (J Society questions. Af r i c an immigrants do hold a unique communal tradition to the degree that their process o f migration, adaptation and resettlement have not completely obstructed their national characteristics. Therefore professionals need to be aware o f A f r i c a n immigrants strong ties to their traditions. Conclusion This research provides substantive information to all human and social service professionals. The information presented in this study may enhance the global v iew o f Af r i can immigrants ' use of traditional healing practices as part of their process o f resettlement. Fo r example, this research has found that the use or abstention of traditional healing practices in re-settlement depends on the participants reasons for migration. There were distinct differences in the use or non-use of traditional healing practices between those who planned (economic) and those who were forced (political) to migrate. The economic migrant participants showed f lexibi l i ty and the ability to blend their tradition with the tradition of their new social environment. Whereas, the pol i t ica l migrant participants rely heavily on their traditional practices for different reasons such as. memories from A f r i c a , traditional foods, music, family, friends and spirituality. However , because the research was only conducted in a smal l geographic area of Br i t i sh C o l u m b i a (Victor ia) and the selection o f participants were restricted to those who speak Eng l i sh only, the findings are l imi ted in their generalization. Nonetheless, the study has revealed traditional healing practices that Af r i can Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian ] j ] Society immigrants are using and or have ceased to use. The inquiry used 13 questions and 20 participants from five regions of A f r i c a . Participants from all regions were asked questions about: their knowledge of Af r i can traditions, what they use or ceased to use, their degree of attachment to their traditions, the factors that helped or prevented them to maintain or retain their traditions, how significant their traditions are, their experiences wi th social services agencies, their understanding of Canadian traditions, what they wou ld suggest to Afr icans in V ic to r i a , and what they are prepared to do about it. Their responses were not uniform, but they a l l shared their feelings about barriers to resettlement, the challenges they have faced as w e l l as the strength and contributions they make to the Canadian social fabric. This study could be a starting point for further understanding of Af r i can immigrants ' traditional healing practices. The study l inked selected theories as a means to understanding the participants responses. The participants' relationship wi th their traditions, communit ies and their views of the Canadian social environment have been addressed. Use o f traditional healing practices, as identified i n this study, is an important factor in Af r i can immigrants ' resettlement because it gives meaning to their social environment. The Af r i can immigrant traditional healing practices are what shape their moral standard, condition their habits, ski l ls , and knowledge, and the behavioral characteristics that express their actions and intentions. They are passionate about their traditions and w i l l i n g to take responsibili ty to contribute and Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian | ) 2 Society resettle into Canada. A s traditional healing practices are significant for the First Nations to cope and challenge the social and pol i t ica l barriers, so too it is for the Af r i can immigrants who participated in this study. They are desperate to organize and practice their traditions so they can challenge and remove barriers that b lock their process of resettlement. For example, The First Nations encourage their people to participate through sweat lodges, the long house, and other ceremonial gatherings. If Af r i can immigrants manage to organize, they could establish a traditional learning, teaching, and healing environment for their members. Recommendations 1. A f r i c a n immigrants wou ld benefit from one united Af r i can Associa t ion . Since participants have identified their isolation as a means that prevents them from using traditional healing practices, the association could provide easy access to social connection, encourage participation, and invite celebration during special traditional events. This might be done through a community centre and a comfortable environment where families, individuals , and communi ty members relate, share and support one another. The association could also mediate between Af r i can immigrants and professionals, consult and advocate on behalf of its members, bu i ld a safe bridge between the society and Af r i can immigrants, and educate its members and the publ ic about cultural or traditional differences. In addition, the communi ty center could attract elders to advise and counsel members Elias Cheboud, 1998. The African Immigrants Use of Traditional Healing Practices As Part of Their Process of Re-settlement Into Canadian ] 13 Society traditionally and could also influence or gain means to bring traditional resources from A f r i c a for healing purposes. 2. Further research on factors that prevent Af r i can immigrants from creating a united association would be beneficial. Al though Af r i can immigrants are w i l l i n g to establish an umbrella organization, there seem to be obstacles from making their intention possible. 3. Soc ia l workers and professionals i n human service sectors need to re-evaluate their level of cross-cultural awareness in reference to the participants' response. They may need to be more sensitive to the Af r i can immigrants ' needs and expectations of their services. Professionals need to explain up front what they can do and what they are not al lowed to do due to their agencies' policies and regulations. 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(Essays In Cri t ique of M e d i c a l Anthropology) , C o n c h Magaz ine L i m i t e d (Publishers), L o n d o n . Stephenson, P . (1991), The V i c t o r i a Mul t icu l tura l Health Care Research Project, Trans Cul tura l Consul t ing Service, V ic to r i a , B . C . Su l l ivan , L . E . (1989), Heal ing and Restoring, Health and Med ic ine in the W o r l d ' s Rel ig ious Traditions, M a c m i l l a n Publ ishing Company, London . W a x i e r - M o r r i s o n , N , Anderson, J . M . , & Richardson, E . (1990), Cross-cultural Car ing : A Handbook For Health Professionals In Western Canada, Univers i ty o f Br i t i sh Co lumbia . Press, Vancouver , B . C . , Canada. Wharf, B . (1990), Soc ia l W o r k and Socia l Change In Canada, M c C l e l l a n d & Stewart Inc. Toronto. Wheeler , C . T. (1971), The Immigrant Experience, The D i a l Press, N e w Y o r k . Elias Cheboud, 1998. 119 Appendix A Interview Guide Questions 1. What are your traditional healing practices, which you used in Africa? 2. Of those traditional healing practices which ones do you currently uesand why? 3. Which ones have you ceased and why? 4. Do you wish to retain your traditional healing practices? 5. Identify factors, if any, that currently help you to retain your traditional healing practices. 6. Identify factors, if any, that prevent you from retaining your traditional healing practices. 7. Do you think that the use of traditional healing practices helps you to resettle into Canadian society? 8. Have you any experience in using Social Service agencies here in Canada? 9. Identify healing practice, if any that you have used from Canadian society which you have found helpful or harmful. 10. Would you say that your effort is to settle into Canadian society? 11. Do any of your traditional healing practices help you to cope with difficulties? Prevents youfrom coping? 12. What would you suggest to African Communities here in Victoria to do? 13. What are you going to do about it? Would you be part of it? 124 / understand that: Whether or not I choose to participate will have no bearing on my work, or any services or other entitlements that I receive at this time. My participation in this study is entirely voluntary. I may refuse to comment or answer any questions at any time, and I may withdraw from the interview at any time without any explanation. I may withdraw from the research study at any time without negative effects or jeopardy to services I may receive from community agencies. I may not benefit directly from participating in this study. I will be given a copy of this consent form. In addition, I can have access to the results of the study, if I so choose. I, : , agree to participate in this research, as described above. Signature of Participant Signature of Witness Name (Please print): ; Date:. ' 

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