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The African immigrants use of traditional healing practices as part of their process of resettlement into Canadian society Cheboud, Elias Assefa


The purpose of this research was to investigate what traditional healing practices African immigrants are using and have ceased to use, during the process of resettlement into Canadian society. An additional purpose was to investigate the participants' reasons for using or not using their traditional healing practices. One aim of the study was to provide information about these traditional differences and the ways in which professionals in the social service sector acknowledged African immigrants and have been helpful to them. Another aim 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 African immigrants themselves as well as for African immigrant community groups within Victoria. The African immigrants' traditional practices and the ways in which they adapt and resettle into the new society remain unknown in the literature. Perhaps, the 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 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 African immigrants from five different regions of Africa participated in the study. Two distinct traditional practices were identified (i.e. material tradition and non material tradition) which are the foundation of African 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 non-use of traditional healing practices between those who planned (economic), and those who were forced (political) to migrate

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