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Abstract

Native American men have historically been important to their communities, each having a specific function in the perpetuation of cultural norms and practices. Oral tradition and communal experiential activity were pathways of maintaining a connection with others and in regenerating culture. In contrast, the modern dominant culture values and emphasizes individuation as an indicator of psychosocial growth. This influence seems to have hindered Indigenous people/men in maintaining a sense of connection with the community. Survival for Indigenous men during the establishment of encroaching nations has often occurred through relinquishment of a part of 'self' psychically. Aboriginal men report experiencing hopelessness living in a self-imposed isolation, without a sense of tradition or direction. Healing may focus on use of normative and narrative efforts that rebuild the 'self' as a part of others and the community, which fosters a sense of interconnectedness. Ceremony is an adjunct to developing linkages between heritage, roles, and a community connection.

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