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The Five Arrows Program
Health Culture Diplomacy and Peacemaking

​​The Five Arrows Program

The 5 Arrows Health Culture Diplomacy Program draws upon the lessons learned during ten years of international Global Tea Houses and Community programs spearheaded by the Bamboo Bridge.

The Bamboo Bridge is an international teaching and learning community led by nurses and indigenous leaders who are dedicated to promoting peace and unity through health culture diplomacy.


The goal of the 5 Arrows Health Culture Diplomacy Program is to foster cultural diplomacy skills among community leaders, such as health care providers and teachers, who would then teach the Five Arrows program in their communities. 

Upon completion of the Five Arrows Health Culture Diplomacy Program, participants are better able to demonstrate the integration of complementarity of the four identified health care cultures: the biomedical, complementary therapies (a subculture of the biomedical), self-care, and the traditional/indigenous, in their work in education and health practice. Participants incorporate or bundle these four directions in health care culture as four "arrows" with the fifth arrow of complementarity and unity.

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Mrs. Cecilia Mitchell, Mohawk Wisdom Keeper, passes the Five Arrows of Hiawatha (The Story of the Peacemaker) to Dr. Martha Libster 

Why Five Arrows?

The Peacemaker of the Iroquois Confederacy, Deganawida, with the assistance of the Mother of Nations, Jigonsasee – the woman without a face, who was the first to accept the Peacemaker’s message of Peace and Power, orchestrated peace between the five nations known historically as the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy of Turtle Island (United States and Canada). He taught his student Hayanwatah (Hiawatha) that the five nations standing together were stronger than if they stood alone. Our strength as a people is in our unity – in our community represented in the bundling of the five arrows of Hiawatha. This history is recorded in the White Roots of Peace (approved by the Iroquois).

Listen to the Reading of a First Edition of the White Roots of Peace 

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The Cultural Diplomacy Model© is the foundation for the program that includes:

  • Solution-Focused Negotiation

  • Health Decision Making 

  • Mindfulness in Practice and Education

  • Peace-Making Communication

  • Fostering Purpose and Belonging

  • Precision Self-Care

  • Faculty-facilitated online small group work

  • Cultural immersion experiences

​What Is Indigenous Knowledge?

Indigenous knowledge refers to traditional or local knowledge that is unique to a given culture or society. It is the knowledge that people in a given community have developed over time often outside the formal education system. It is based on experience, tested over centuries of use, adapted to local culture and environment, dynamic and changing.  It is the basis for local-level decision-making in agriculture, health care, food preparation, education, natural resource management, and a host of other activities in communities.

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