Dr. Joseph Couture (1930-2007)| known affectionately as “Dr. Joe|” stood at the center of some of the greatest political| social| and intellectual struggles of Aboriginal peoples in contemporary Canada. A profound thinker and writer| as well as a gifted orator| he easily walked two paths| as a respected Elder and traditional healer and as an educational psychologist| one of the first Aboriginal people in Canada to receive a PhD. His work challenged and transformed long-held views of Canada’s Indigenous peoples| and his vision and leadership gave direction to many of the current fields of Aboriginal scholarship. His influence extended into numerous areas–education| addictions and mental health treatment| community development| restorative justice| and federal correctional programming for Aboriginal peoples.
With a foreword by Aboriginal rights activist Lewis Cardinal| “A Metaphoric Mind” brings together for the first time key works selected from among Dr. Joe’s writings| published and unpublished. Spanning nearly thirty years| the essays invite us to share in his transformative legacy through a series of encounters| with Aboriginal spirituality and ancestral ways of knowing| with Elders and their teachings| with education and its role in politicization| self-determination| and social change| and with the restorative process and the meaning of Native healing.