Author Bio

Danelle is Hopi, Tewa (Hopi/Santa Clara Pueblo), Diné, and Mvskoke (Muscogee Creek) and is from Arizona. She obtained her Master of Public Health in Native Hawaiian and Indigenous Health from the University of Hawaiʻi. Danelle’s passions include the health and well-being of Indigenous/Aboriginal People, and sacred spaces. She is still currently a student, but in the future she hopes to assist in the healing of Indigenous People, and to work with Indigenous communities to prevent health disparities. dcooper6@asu.edu

Treena Wasonti:io Delormier is Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk). She is an Associate professor in the School of Human Nutrition at McGill University, and Associate Director of the Centre for Indigenous Peoples Nutrition and Environment. She is the Scientific Director of the Kahnawake Schools Diabetes Prevention Project (KSDPP) a 24-year community-university partnership and health promotion program in her home community of Kahnawake, near Montreal, Quebec. Dr. Delormier’s research interests include Indigenous research methodologies, qualitative methodologies, Indigenous Peoples’ food systems and the prevention of diabetes and obesity prevention through community mobilization strategies. treena.delormier@mcgill.ca

Dr. Maile Chargualaf Flores Taualii (Kanaka Maoli) is a Clinical Transformation Healthcare Researcher for the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group, where she brings cultural, ethical, and community-oriented perspectives to clinical transformation. In 2015, Dr. Taualii established the world’s first global Indigenous Master of Public Health degree program and was awarded the University of Hawai`i, Board of Regents Excellence in Teaching Award. She and her husband, 5 children, and 3 dogs live on 20-acre food forest with their ‘ohana, who aim to feed the community traditional, plant-based food from the land. mtaualii@hawaii.edu


Since colonization, Indigenous/Aboriginal Peoples (IAP) have fought for their inherent rights to follow their ways of life on their traditional territories. One continuing battle is the protection of sacred spaces. Sacred spaces are places recognized by IAP as deeply spiritually and powerful. Relationships to sacred spaces sustain spiritual connections integral to our concepts of holistic health/well-being and are vital for cultural integrity. Though all of the natural world is sacred to IAP, the particular cultural and spiritual significance of sacred spaces and impact on health merits attention. Drawing from qualitative research, this article investigates IAP’s perspectives and experiences regarding the connection between Indigenous/Aboriginal and sacred spaces, and we conclude that the desecration of sacred spaces has negative impacts on IAP’s health.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.