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A Different MedicinePostcolonial Healing in the Native American Church$
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Joseph D. Calabrese

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199927722

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199927722.001.0001

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Postcolonial Hybridity and Ritual Bureaucracy in New Mexico

Postcolonial Hybridity and Ritual Bureaucracy in New Mexico

Participant Observation in a Navajo Peyotist Healer’s Clinical Program

Chapter:
(p.175) 8 Postcolonial Hybridity and Ritual Bureaucracy in New Mexico
Source:
A Different Medicine
Author(s):

Joseph D. Calabrese

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199927722.003.0008

This chapter describes the author’s experiences working at a Navajo clinical program for adolescents with substance abuse and mental illness and the role of the Native American Church in contemporary clinical services. Procedures in this program are described, including how the program handled tribal and religious differences among the patients. The chapter describes the role of rituals within a multidisciplinary treatment approach and how their use was contextualized within the modern healthcare bureaucracy, resulting in interesting instances of hybridity (e.g. clinical progress in rituals being tracked by a state-of-the-art computer-based information management system). The author was expected to participate in weekly sweat lodge rituals with his adolescent clients and he also wrote various rituals, including the Peyote Ceremony, into his treatment and aftercare plans, following standard local practice. This program emphasized the modeling of respectful use of sacred psychoactive substances (e.g. tobacco and Peyote) by adults rather than their demonization.

Keywords:   ritual, healthcare bureaucracy, navajo, native american church, clinical services, peyote ceremony, substance abuse treatment, mental illness, adolescents, hybridity

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