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Teaching about diabetes through healthy living books

Thursday December 20, 2012
Wikwemikong’s Mary Pheasant has written, illustrated and published a book featuring the traditional perspective on Type 2 diabetes.

Wikwemikong’s Mary Pheasant has written, illustrated and published a book featuring the traditional perspective on Type 2 diabetes.

“It’s all about learning about Type 2 diabetes and how to take care of ourselves,” Pheasant said. “It’s working with the wholistic aspect with Anishinabemowin thinking — the native way of thinking.”

Pheasant said the book contains everything she knows from 30 years of experience working in the nutrition and health care fields, written in the way she talks to and mentors clients.

Pheasant has also published another book with her husband on fetal alcohol syndrome and residential school impacts on the second generation.

“His parents were very young when they had him and they had no parenting skills,” Pheasant said. “So he was bounced around from foster home to foster home.”

Pheasant said her husband’s happiest memories were the time he stayed with his maternal grandparents.

“So that’s what carried him through all the chaos,” Pheasant said.

Pheasant began painting at the age of 49 after her son suggested art as therapy for an extreme case of shingles she developed while taking care of her father, uncle and husband, who had hurt his back at the time.

“I thought to myself that I worked too hard to get where I am with all my education and training to throw it all away,” Pheasant said. “So that’s why I tried art and it was my healing.”

She has since sold over 10,000 art cards featuring her unique style of painting.

“When I was growing up I always did art until I was 19,” Pheasant said. “So it was 30 years before I went back to it, and I said that art took 30 years to develop.”

Pheasant and her husband also had a variety of other arts and crafts for sale, including silkscreen images of her paintings and a variety of jewelry created by their daughter.


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