Under the Dreamcatcher

dreamcatcherAcrylic painting. Reminiscent of my medical elective in Moose Factory at Weeneebayko Hospital.

In late April, at the time of the Moose River ice “break-up,” we wore our rubber boots to protect our scrubs as we traveled the muddy roads to get to Weenebayko Hospital, Moose Factory. ‘We’ are the medical students who travel by airplane to this remote and rural reserve in Northern Ontario. Like many First Nation Reserves, Moose Factory has a strong Indigenous Culture. This acrylic painting is a reflection of the two types of health care provided to the community. The Dreamcatcher in the sky as a symbol of Indigenous spirituality and the hospital in the background as a symbol of Western medicine. The scene is inspired by an Icaro, a traditional indigenous song that is whistled during a plant ceremony. As Canada’s northern communities experience barriers to health distribution, the promise of valuing local indigenous healing methods could not only save lives but also harmonize these two valuable medicinal practices.