Nature connections: Cultural heritage, identity and wellbeing in Vancouver, Canada | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 3, Issue 1-2
  • ISSN: 2044-3714
  • E-ISSN: 2044-3722



I came to Vancouver, Canada in March 2014 to give a paper on ‘The Cultural Value of the Arts for Health and Well-Being’ at the 4th International Conference on Health, Wellness & Society: Holistic Health 1 at British Columbia University. I knew absolutely nothing about the First Nations people, their arts, culture and history, and how this relates to a Canadian identity. What I know now is that the cultural identity of many of these peoples is linked to their language, and that of the remaining thirty-two indigenous languages in British Columbia, some are near extinction. For these peoples, their language is their way of being and who they are. It is encouraging to learn that projects which promote language revitalization create the opportunity for cultural well-being, through the cultural connections via the traditional values embedded within each indigenous language. In the same way that we know that Western medicine treats the body, not the person, the First Nations peoples’ loss of language is holistically integrated into the whole of their history of colonization, beliefs, medicine, spiritual and cultural practices. Their cultural heritage is interwo-ven to their wellbeing.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a success
Invalid data
An error occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error