• INDIGENOUS

    HISTORICAL TRAUMA

  • Indigenous communities continue to suffer psychological trauma from lasting legacies of reservation schools and forced adoption to present day violations of native lands and cultural suppression. Today, native teens suffer from the highest rates of suicide in North America.

     

    Our research aims to see how memory, isolation and disenfranchisement among native communities on reservations has translated into one of the highest rates of depression, suicide ideation and suicide among native teens. By identifying the collective of harms over-represented in native communities from early childhood, including poverty, prejudice and racism, and substance abuse, we will follow how hopelessness and depression start to grip native children by the time they are teenagers.

     

    This research will attempt to identify the coping mechanisms of native teens and the services available to help them to build resilience. This resilience often relies and is based on cultural healing practices. We look at how these healing practices work to provide a collective support system for native teens and the challenges posed by current public health policy in meeting psychological demands for teens in foster care.

     

    Our research is initially focusing on native communities in Canada and the United States. In Canada, the state has opened efforts to begin reconciliation for harms caused by for past abuses in what is widely recognised as cultural genocide. The recent history of Canada is looked at through the lens of reservation schools and the Sixties Scoop that forcibly separated children from their families and stripped them of their cultural identities. We work alongside native communities to see whether state-led reconciliation forms a legitimate part of the healing process and what is needed once these formal processes end. In both Canada and America, despite efforts to heal from the past Indigenous communities face homelessness and destruction of their ancestral lands due to extractive industries, compounding distress and trauma.

     

    As our research expands, we will look at the approaches adopted by Aboriginal communities in Australia to combat depression and suicide ideation among Aboriginal teens. Much of our initial work will be through measuring the impact of cultural healing practices and prevention initiatives led by Aboriginal mental health workers on trans-generational trauma. We will be continuing to connect to partners in Guatemala and Chile who are working closely with Indigenous communities seeking healing for atrocities of the past and the continued threats of removal from native lands by the state.

     

    Collectively, our research will collate comparative mental health approaches in different Indigenous contexts and create a collaborative cross-border platform for our partners to learn and collaborate on efforts to better understand historical trauma and mitigate its effects.

     

  • REPORTS

  • Sherry Bellamy and Cindy Hardy (2015): Anxiety Disorders and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada. National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health.

    The Well Living House Action Research Centre for Indigenous Infant, Child, and Family Health and Wellbeing, St. Michael's Hospital (2015): First Peoples, Second Class Treatment.

    National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health. Culture and Language as Social Determinants of First Nations, Inuit and Metis Health.

    Kids Matter and University of Western Sydney (2011): Promoting the Mental Health and Wellbeing of Indigenous Children in Australian Primary Schools.

    Centre of Perinatal Excellence (2014): Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Perinatal Mental Health Mapping Project.

    National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health. Challenging Hidden Assumptions: Colonial Norms as Determinants of Aboriginal Mental Health.

    Closing the Gap (2014): Effective Strategies to Strengthen the Mental Health and Wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.
    National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health. Art and Wellness: The Importance of Art for Aboriginal Peoples' Health and Healing.
  • INDIGENOUS TRAUMA

    IN THE MEDIA

  • Mental Health Issues 'A Train to Jail' for Indigenous Australians

    ABC News Australia

    .

    Mental Health Services Lacking for the Indigenous

    CBC News

    .

    Residential school survivor explains the impact on her family

    CBC News

    .

    Searching for Solutions to Prevent Youth Suicide

    CBC News

    .

  • BOOKS

  • Decolonizing Trauma Work: Indigenous Stories and Strategies

    Renee Linklater

    Legacy: Trauma, Stories and Indigenous Healing

    Suzanne Methot

    Journey to Healing: Aboriginal People with Addiction and Mental Health Issues

    Peter Menzies and Lynn Lavallee

  • PODCASTS

  • Finding Cleo

    Missing and Murdered

    Reconciliation (Season 5)

    Red Man Laughing Podcast

    Reconciliation?

    The Henceforward

  • NEWS

All Posts
×