Shouldering Grief: Validating Native American Historical Trauma
by Nora Chavez
Excerpt from PDF…
Dr. Brave Heart, conceptualized historical trauma in the 1980’s, as a way to develop stronger understanding of why life for many Native Americans is not fulfilling “the American Dream.” Although, many Native Americans have adapted to an Americanized way of life and are healthy and economically self-sufficient, there is still a significant proportion of Native people who are not faring well.
Historical trauma is defined by the author and the Takini Institute as the “collective emotional and psychological injury both over the life span and across generations, resulting from a cataclysmic history of genocide.” Dr. Brave Heart states that the effects of historical trauma include: unsettled emotional trauma, depression, high mortality rates, high rates of alcohol abuse, significant problems of child abuse and domestic violence.