Johnston-Ashkewe Healing Evaluation Model

By Vivian Hunt,2014-01-10 21:55
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Johnston-Ashkewe Healing Evaluation Model

    Johnston Research Inc. page 1

Waawiyeyaa (Circular) Evaluation Model


     Culturally based research is not first founded in a western model nor does

    it try to fit findings into a culturally appropriate version of that model. This

    research begins at the ground level: rooted in community knowledge. Using this

    approach the evaluation is, in itself, “participatory”: it is a community-based evaluation. Evaluation is very much a western concept, but the concept of

    continual improvement is not foreign to Aboriginal people. Many First Nations

    speak about the four aspects of self and the importance of maintaining balance

    within one’s self. Johnston Research Inc. has developed an Aboriginal based

    evaluation tool named the Waawiyeyaa (Circular) Evaluation Model. While the

    foundation for this model centres on the individual First Nations people believe

    that what affects the individual: extends to the family, community, and the nation.

    In this respect, evaluation is inherent in Aboriginal teachings because as

    individuals improve so do organizations cyclical improvement.


     The Waawiyeyaa Evaluation Model is founded in the teachings of the

    individual or self. There are four aspects that make up the self: spirit, emotion, mind, and body. These four aspects exist in a circular fashion and are not separate

    compartments by any means. Each aspect overlaps with the other; they are in

    constant motion. There are no clear borders between each aspect, in the sense that

    none can exist in isolation or bare meaning alone. The self relies on all four aspects for continued existence. Hence, the inclusion of the four selves: Spirit,

    Mind, Body, and Emotion.

     All sickness begins in spirit. How we see directly affects how we feel.

    How we feel affects how we are physically. In order to be healthy or balanced,

    one must be intellectually wise, as well as emotionally wise. The body follows

    these two wisdoms, providing we do not contaminate it. Motion is what living is

    about: constantly learning, adapting, and changing to our environment. Constant

    movement, opposite a static existence, is what defines us as living. Hence, the inclusion of Growing in the middle of the four selves.

     The Red Road is a path of life. When a person is able to spend a lot of their

    time on this path, that are a deeply involved person who is addressing the issues

    and needs of not only their mental and physical selves, but also the emotional and

    Johnston Research Inc. page 2

Waawiyeyaa (Circular) Evaluation Model




    Cycle of Growth


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spiritual selves. The guiding principles in Aboriginal teachings on healing place

    emphasis on all four aspects.

     The Aboriginal traditional approach often begins with sweat lodges, cedar

    baths, and medicine cleansings in order to cleanse the spiritual self. Letting go

    ceremonies, talking circles, individual counselling speak to the emotional self. By

    healing the spiritual self, the other selves begin to follow suit. This is not a

    smooth road, while the spiritual and emotional selves may begin this healing

    journey, the mental and physical selves must overcome temptation and resist old

    habits, such as drinking, or engaging in verbal abuse. If a person is able to let go

    of their past hurts and pains, then they can begin to control their addictions/habits.

    They are able to step that much closer to leading a “balanced” life. However, in

    order to attain these goals, a person needs to be an intense participant in the

    healing program. Casual event interactions will not get at the complex issues that were just described above. The process becomes cyclical as a person moves closer

    and closer to living a more “balanced” life. Hence, the Cycle of Growing, displayed previously, uses a cyclical motion. This motion is also useful in describing a person’s journey along the Red Road or Peace Road and the

    continuation of the cycle of violence in a family, or a community, etc.

     Dealing with diabetes is a very dynamic process and requires an approach

    which can describe a person’s story and express this wealth of knowledge. The Waawiyeyaa Evaluation Model may provide a venue for a person to learn to tell

    his/her personal stories using visualizations.

Examples from the 3-D animation follow:

     Individual Self-Assessment




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    The previous diagram is called the Individual Self-Evaluation because according to programs founded on traditional teachings the healing process is one which is self-healing. Likewise, then an evaluation of such a program should be based on the voices of the participants. One way in which to map this journey is to describe it in terms of how they perceive the interaction of their spirit, mind, emotion, and body along their healing path.

    Further, this speaks about the Individual and not the participant directly, because it is important to acknowledge and recognize the healing journey’s of program personnel, not only the staff but the management as well.

    The aspects of the self are interconnected, they are constantly interacting and a person of good health has a good balance between these four parts of self. A sense of harmony is felt when balance is reached, however, no one stays in complete harmony, if one were, the spheres would be motionless, and it is said that if one lay motionless, they are not growing, and if one is not growing, they are not living.

    It is a reductionist approach to isolate two of these spheres and suggest how they interact with one another. It can only be considered as a whole. When doing analyses, one would use an interaction approach and when relationships are not statistically significant, one must consider if they are substantially significant, before rejecting the hypothesis.

    Path of Growth

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Growth speaks about the teaching that we are a spirit foremost, and are living on

    this earth for a reason: to learn. It is not up to us how that spirit learns, hence the

    many roads traveled. We may need to travel back and forth, through quote

    “failure” and quote “disease”. I say this because it is taught that everything

    happens for a reason and your spirit must experience certain events, so apparent

    failure or disease are not negative. The idea is for us to turn around and realize

    what it is that is trying to be told to us by the event and how we can get through it

    and learn that lesson we are being asked to learn.

In the tree of life we always know our way back to the centre, to balance. Our

    teachings help us find our way back.

Using this model, there are no program outcomes that pertain to participants.

    Instead, a program outcome may be that the personnel effectively and efficiently

    deliver services which assist participants in self-healing. However, the “outcome” that a participant no longer uses insulin, is specific to that person, that person

    defines it. Therefore, the participant has chosen their path to healing and the

    program can attribute their assistance in supporting the participant as the programs


When we are conceived we are a “pure being”. We are quote “perfectly” balanced.

    The degree of balance at birth also depends on what lessons we bring with us, as

    spirits, to learn in this life. As we grow, we will undergo trauma or “stress”, for

    example, the loss of a parent. This is an emotional feeling and can lead to other


    Taking Hydrocotisone

    Driven by Fear

     Participate in a

    Pipe Cermony

     Loss of a Parent





    Johnston Research Inc. page 6

The previous graphic illustrates that the loss of a parent affects the emotional

    sphere. This leads to the development of internal health problems which affect the

    body, causing eczema to manifest. The self is unbalanced in both the emotional

    and physical spheres. The emotional loss of a parent leads to the mind being

    driven by fear. For example, fear that all men leave and fear that all men fool

    around; in this example these fears were passed by the mother when the father left.

    Now, three spheres are affected. Next, the spirit develops a sense of hopelessness,

    a feeling of not having any good reason to live.

The self cannot seem to find happiness in any relationships, not with the father,

    mother or partners. The self continues to use hydrocortisone prescribed by a

    family physician. This begins to help the physical pain of the eczema feel better,

    but the other spheres are still suffering. The person goes to an Aboriginal Health

    centre and sees a healer who smokes the pipe with him/her and prays for him/her,

    also the healer gives him/her some white pine to boil to smooth on the eczema.

    The self’s spirit gradually begins to feel better, a sense of purpose is realized and

    so the spirit and body are a bit better. Through the work and many years, balance

    begins to restore, by addressing all of the issues; including the root issue of the

    loss of a parent, the sense of abandonment”.

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