The Relatuhedron is a multilevel, multiperspective, culturally safe approach to promote and sustain individual and community processes of growth, based on “pedagomiologies” of relational and creative construction. The relatuhedron neologism is an art shape that was inspired from Indigenous Relational Knowledge, Narrative Inquiry Method (Stewart, 2008) and the perspective of complex adaptive-dynamic systems applied to Narrative and Visual Medicine.
As an open, welcoming and protected space, the relatuhedron invites participants to build on their experiences of strengths which are considered a fertile land to create new supportive relationships with themselves, nature, culture and others. In the relatuhedron, relational knowledge is promoted and shared as a safe encounter -for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous persons- as a reflexive community narrative, mediated by an interactive and commonly shared art construction. It is a space based on doing and sharing the dialogue between Indigenous and non-Indigenous worldviews on topics of interest of historical, cultural and socio-determinants of health and mental health concerns. The relatuhedron builds on the pressures, hopes, expectations, dreams, ideals, needs, emotions, and visions that “intermesh” Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers, staff, students and communities. The relatuhedron is a place, a land (in the sense of land-based pedagogies) to gather and share, it is a place to open conversations, it is a multilevel tool, a machine of possibilities.
The relatuhedron is a neologism (Rodriguez, 2016) from the root of the English word relation = relat and the Latin hedra = solid shape, which stands for “shape shaped by relationships”. The transformative impact of this creative art production can be observed in the personal individual space, the community and the social grammar developed to verbalize the construction of the togetherness of social life.
I am grateful with all Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members, scholars, and institutions that supported this initiative including two awards from the Mental Health Commission of Canada, SPARK training program “Innovation to Implementation” (2016, 2019), and Native Child and Family Services of Toronto pilot program and the Waakebiness-Bryce Institute of Indigenous Health and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health.
Let’s build something amazing together!
Dr. Juan Rodriguez