Into the Daylight: A Wholistic Approach to Healing


104 pages
ISBN 0-8020-8162-2
DDC 362.1'089'97071




Reviewed by Marilyn Mardiros

Marilyn Mardiros is an associate professor of health sciences at the
University of Ottawa.


Morrisseau, an Anishinabe, has written a book that is based on his
experiences of being abused and abusing others as well as himself. The
processes Morrisseau describes have affected not only himself, but his
family and community and indeed all indigenous people who have
experienced colonization and oppression. Within communities, there has
been a shift from valuing harmony, equality, and sharing to exercising
power and control over others. The failure to fulfil traditional values
and the loss of caring and sharing for self, family, community, and
culture has resulted in individual and collective shame, despair, and
isolation. The oppressed have taken on the characteristics of the
oppressor even in the healing process, where sharing pain is used
against a person.

Morrisseau proposes a model of traditional healing in which
individuals, families, and communities work together to break the
patterns of abuse. Acknowledging the injustices that occur within
communities and families is a crucial first step in the healing process.
In accepting responsibility, communities are free to enter into recovery
and recapture cooperation, sharing, balance, and spirituality.

Although the book is not without its limitations (including repetition
of ideas, a simplistic view of non-Native society, and a romanticizing
of the precontact past), its underlying message that the object of life
is to enjoy the journey is an important one for individuals and
communities on the journey of recovery to heal.


Morrisseau, Calvin., “Into the Daylight: A Wholistic Approach to Healing,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 17, 2024,