Creating cultural pride also helps individuals, families and communities establish a strong individual and collective identity, which again is key to healing.
This morning, I discovered a recent article, Aboriginal Peoples and Historic Trauma: The processes of intergenerational trauma by William Aguiar and Regine Halseth, which emphasise these points in their Conclusion. The article is well worth reading to gain a better insight into historical trauma.
‘Understanding the nature of trauma for Aboriginal survivors of the residential school system and their descendants, and the pathways by which this trauma has been transmitted from one generation to the next, are critical aspects of devising more effective strategies for addressing the health and well-being of Aboriginal people.
This understanding must go beyond Western conceptions of trauma to include the collective and massive cumulative trauma experienced by generations of Aboriginal families, and the relationship between contemporary and historical manifestations of trauma.
It also requires a deeper understanding of each of the primary pathways through which this trauma can be transmitted, and the ways in which they interact with each other.
Given the complexity of Historic Trauma for Aboriginal peoples, it is clear that disrupting the intergenerational transmission of trauma will require holistic and multi-faceted approaches to improving health and well-being.
The deep shame that is felt by many Aboriginal people is rooted first and foremost in the processes of colonialism, which denigrated Aboriginal culture and values leaving many with a poor sense of self-worth. The effects of this are acutely felt by individuals, families, communities and nations, and play out through all facets of life.
As a result, interrupting the intergenerational transmission of trauma will require approaches aimed not only at treating the symptoms of this trauma, but will require the healing and rebuilding of individuals, families and communities.
A central component of this will be re-establishing pride and sense of individual and collective identity through ‘culture as treatment’ activities (Gone, 2013). These approaches must involve not only the health domain, but other domains like education as well.’
I’ll finish with two last two points. Firstly, the authors make reference to Joseph Gone, who I consider to be one of the leading academics and researchers working in this field. His work is well worth checking out.
Secondly, the authors make reference for the need of education in healing. Education is a key foundation of the Sharing Culture approach.