Turtle Island Indigenous Psychologies

Radical Understanding


  • Bronwyn Johnston Arts Psychology




Indigenous psychology, Cultural psychology


This paper explores Indigenous psychology as a radical alternative to modern theories of psychology. I explain and define Western psychology as a dominating force which overshadows other psychological approaches. I then explore cross-cultural and previous ideas of Indigenous psychology as subsections of Western psychology. I explain that cross-cultural and Indigenous psychology are no different than Western psychology as they rely heavily on abstract, fixed meanings. Cultural psychology provides a radical approach which invites an Indigenous psychology based on a genuine understanding of Indigenous practices. I explore Turtle Island Indigenous Psychologies (TIIP) as local, interrelated, oral, ceremonial, and medicinal or healing. I then use TIIP as a radical perspective to critique the colonial or tautological approaches dominating Western psychology. I offer TIIP as a genuine, radical opposition to Western psychology which can only be used from a place of comprehensive understanding.