Image of Brian Muth

"I attended a university in Hawaii and lived there for five years. I learned a lot about the Hawaiian indigenous worldview. The value placed on our connection to family, the land and natural environment impacted me greatly.”

"I attended a university in Hawaii and lived there for five years. I learned a lot about the Hawaiian indigenous worldview. The value placed on our connection to family, the land and natural environment impacted me greatly. A lot of that has carried over into my work here in Aboriginal health.

Maybe it’s my European ancestry, but I’ve never had a strong connection to my ancestral homeland. I think that’s why First Nations history is so interesting to me. The Coast Salish and Nlaka’pamux peoples in the Fraser Salish region have inhabited this land since time immemorial. The connection to this place is powerful. Every mountain, river, creek and rock has a story and carries significance.

I once asked an Elder if there was a course I could take to understand the cultural practices and teachings of the Stó:lō people and he said, no, just go. Go to ceremonies, sit, listen. He was right. I learned so much sitting in the longhouse during ceremonies and listening. In addition, you can read about residential schools and the impacts of colonization and it can break your heart, but if you sit with an Elder who actually attended a residential school… it changes you."

- Brian Muth, Director, Aboriginal Health & Wellness Promotion

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