Dancing, Singing, Painting, and Speaking the Healing Story: Healing Through Creative Arts

Linda Archibald
Jonathan Dewar
Carrie Reid
Vanessa Stevens


This report describes the results of a study by the Aboriginal Healing Foundation (AHF) in the use of creative arts in healing programs. The AHF was established in 1998 with a mandate to support the development of sustainable healing processes related to the legacy of Canada’s residential school system. Part of this was accomplished through research and evaluation that revealed the significant contribution of cultural interventions to healing out of which the Creative Arts and Healing study grew. As Marlene Brant Castellano wrote in Volume I of the AHF’s final report, “Research on promising healing practices points to evidence that cultural activities are legitimate and successful healing interventions” (Castellano, 2006:148). Since many cultural activities are arts-based, questions arose around the use of creative arts in healing programs; in particular, • How often are creative arts incorporated into healing programs?• What are the associated benefits and challenges? The formal research question guiding this study was, • What happens when art, music, dance, storytelling, and other creative arts become a part of community-based Aboriginal healing programs?
Resource/Research Type:
Resource Type: Report
Document Details:
Author: Linda Archibald, Jonathan Dewar, Carrie Reid, Vanessa Stevens
Publisher Details:
Publisher: Aboriginal Healing Foundation
Publisher City: Ottawa
Publisher Year: 2012
Audio/Video Details: