For indigenous people, mental health and illness belong to the broader scope of social and emotional well-being and are simply part of a more holistic vision of health and well-being. The aboriginal people and the islanders of the Torres Strait maintain that the factors that currently determine their social and emotional well-being are rooted in colonial history and the persistence of unfavorable circumstances, which entail profound and widespread suffering, loss, racism, discrimination, adversity and the transgenerational consequences of government policies that, until 1970, uprooted thousands of aboriginal children from the arms of their parents
The contemporary discussion on the possibility of incorporating cultural pluralism into the political heritage of liberal democracy has been accompanied by the questioning of some basic assumptions, both moral and political, on which the legitimacy of the national State has traditionally been based (Cooke & Long, 2005). One of the most disconcerting elements in this discussion has been the use of the language of "culture" for the claim of political and social rights. This confusion is actually because, frequently, the demands of the ethnic and national minorities refer not only to the conditions of participation in the political community but also to those of belonging to it, that is, to its constituent identity.
The Canadian experience in this regard is particularly illustrative. Derived from the British parliamentary tradition, its political system was configured for geographical, political and ethnocultural reasons as a federation. However, unlike American liberal conceptions, the need to politically accommodate the French-speaking minority and to integrate large migratory flows has played a fundamental role in the territorial organisation of the Canadian State and the introduction of a wide range of cultural rights in its constitutional definition of citizenship. The recognition and articulation of the cultural plurality of the country constitute, then, a hallmark of identity and, it must also be said, a source of instability in the Canadian political system, a model, on the other hand, robustly democratic.
Aboriginal Voice Cultural Working Group. (2005) Aboriginal Culture in the Digital Age. Aboriginal Voice Cultural Working Group Paper.
Cooke, M., & Long, D. (2011). Moving beyond the politics of Aboriginal well-being, health and Healing. Visions of the heart: Canadian Aboriginal issues (pp.310 - 313).
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