About Historical Trauma
Historical trauma is sometimes referred to as "multi-generational trauma." It is based on shared experiences by American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) people of historic traumatic events like displacement, forced assimilation, language and culture suppression, and boarding schools, and it is passed down through generations. There is a sense of powerlessness and hopelessness associated with historical trauma that contributes to high rates of alcoholism, substance abuse, suicide, and other health issues. Increasingly, AI/AN prevention programs are using culture-based strategies to address the effects of historical trauma in individuals, families, and communities.
Resources on Historical Trauma
- White Bison, Inc. White Bison, Inc. offers sobriety, recovery, addictions prevention, and wellness "wellbriety" learning resources to the AIAN community nationwide. The site provides information on wellbriety services, an online magazine, products, and links to other organizations.
- Thirty Years Later: The Long-Term Effect of Boarding Schools on Alaska Natives and Their Communities. A summary report based on interviews with Alaska Native boarding school students by the Institute of Social and Economic Research at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
- From Intergenerational Trauma to Intergenerational Healing: A Teaching About How it Works and How We Can Heal. A keynote presentation on Intergenerational Trauma by Dr. Maria Yellow Horse Brave Heart at 2005 Wellbriety Conference sponsored by White Bison, Inc.
- Middelton-Moz Institute. Recognized for work on the effects of multi-generational grief and trauma on individuals, families, and communities, ethnic and cultural awareness, anger, cultural self-hate, and differential diagnosis.
- Four Worlds Centre for Development Learning. The Four Worlds Centre is part of an international network that assists communities in health, education, training, and community development. It was formed by aboriginal elders and community leaders on the Blood Indian Reservation in Alberta, Canada, in search of a solution to the social devastation brought on by alcohol, poverty, and an increasing sense of powerlessness.
- Takini Network, Inc. This is an American Indian nonprofit organization founded in 1992 to help AI/AN peoples heal from historical trauma through community education, training, and research. Takini is a Lakota word for survivor and for one who has been brought back to life.