Native American traditions are rich and enigmatic to many, with populations sadly dwindling and protectiveness over the culture that remains. In this book, Valerie Albrecht, Australian Biographer of Indigenous Peoples, writes the life, work and world views of Elroy Begay, a Navajo Medicine Man who unexpectedly invited her to do so. The telling and scripting spread over four years of meetings and conversations, living within his family and community on Chinle Reservation Arizona, attending and assisting his ceremonies and researching. Included is knowledge on the Navajo Creation story; time honoured traditional medicine and ceremonial practices which are permissible to be written; information on reservation family life and Elroy's philosophical perspectives. As well, Albrecht shares her processing of what proved to be an intensely paradigm shifting experience for both herself and Elroy. Clearly interwoven through-out, is Elroy's creed and core principle of acceptance: acceptance of your history, your culture, yourself and your uniqueness, and for the ‘hand' you have been dealt - Elroy is a paraplegic medicine man living, practising and being cared for between two ways of life and two sets of health conventions. He tells The Story Behind the Story to preserve it and to bring hope and pride for his people.
"My passion is speaking and writing with Indigenous people who aspire to realize their voice, tell their stories, unravel their umbilical cords...and be heard."
Valerie Albrecht has brought together her professional qualifications, skills and experience in writing, public speaking, speech pathology (University of QLD Australia), yoga (MIYTA) and natural therapies to the work of biography, story writing and story telling. Valerie is also passionate about unity consciousness in health care.
The Story Behind The Story is Valerie's third book. Her first books Search for Mother (Inkwell Prod.AZ 2010) and Mother Journaling (Balboa Press/Hay House US 2014) explored the idea of ‘mother' in the generic sense of ‘that which nurtures' and led to her creating an accredited Natural Therapies Course in Birthing with the Australian College of Midwifery. Valerie is currently working and writing her upcoming book One Voice Medicine in remote Australian Aboriginal communities. One Voice Medicine is a collection of conversations with traditional aboriginal healers from Native North America, Guatemala, New Zealand and Australia which aims to both preserve and bring equity for traditional healing alongside Western and Eastern health traditions. Traditional healing of course is also ‘mother' or ‘that which nurtures' for aboriginal peoples.
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