As a long-time anti-apartheid and peace activist, I have often considered the question of how transformation and healing take place in society: how is it possible for society to transform and heal the horrors of the past and what forces create an atmosphere for healing? One of my South African friends who has been struggling for justice all his life tells me the people at home say, "the sh-- is still the same, it's just the flies around it have changed." Having worked hard and long for the end of the apartheid system, we looked to the African National Congress, the liberation movement, to bring about dramatic change, but changing systems of government or legal structures do not necessarily positively impact society. Unless those in positions of responsibility have authentically experienced internal change, or can respond from their highest selves, the most vital aspects of society will remain unchanged. Rather than looking only at social movements, my understanding of social change now encompasses personal development and spiritual healing. In this study I examine the following: can indigenous healing be effective with non-indigenous people in the United States? Related to this are sub-questions which revolve around belief systems and spiritual connection, trust in the healer and what is actually perceived as healing.
Saffer, Pamella Christel, "The effects of indigenous healers working in the United States : a Taino medicine man working in Maryland" (2000). Capstone Collection. 425.