Meanings of wellbriety and wellness among urban native peoples in Boston
Riley, Jessica Taylor
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Wellbriety is a multifaceted concept utilized in Native American communities that demonstrates meanings of health in Native-based discourse. Conceptually, wellbriety symbolizes strength through resilience. During this ethnographic study, I spent two years working within an Urban Indian Health Service facility where I used community-based participatory research methods. I examined complex intersections between meanings of urban native identities, colonization, and tribal sovereignty. Through deconstructing structural violence, I seek to place current urban native health status in a socially-informed context. This research explores how Native peoples define wellbriety and wellness through the lens of healthworld, which addresses how Native communities attempt to heal from traumas inflicted by the U.S. Federal Government. Additionally, I analyze dimensions of food sovereignty among Native community members by exploring how the act of consuming food shapes social and identity meanings which impact community members’ health.