Aboriginal Healing, Historical trauma
The nature of the solutions
"If Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are to be adequately supported in their healing journey, four primary principles must be observed.
First, we must focus on addressing the causes of community dysfunction, not its symptoms.
Second, we must recognise the fundamental importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ownership, definition, design and evaluation of healing initiatives.
Third, and by extension, the way we design initiatives must be based on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander worldviews, not western health understandings alone.
Finally, we must strengthen and support initiatives that use positive, strength-based approaches." Voices From the Campfires: Establishing the Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation
Sharing Culture reflects on the solutions
To improve the health and well-being of Aboriginal people, our society must recognise the existence of historical trauma and its negative impact.
Healing at an individual, family and community level is necessary to address historical trauma and unresolved grief, along with their manifestations. This process is neither quick nor easy, but the knowledge to achieve success is available.
Aboriginal people must learn to forgive, and let go of their past and their negative emotions, in order to initiate a healing process. Connecting to their culture, land, spirituality and family facilitates healing.
Aboriginal people need to accept that they do have coping mechanisms, skills and knowledge, and they’ve been healing themselves for years in their struggle to rise above historical trauma.
Aboriginal people must be empowered to take ownership of their health and well-being, and build culturally safe and respectful environments for healing to occur.
Care systems must move beyond just managing symptoms, to tackling the core of the problem, the trauma that underlies many of the health problems seen amongst Aboriginal people.
We must learn from the Stories of Aboriginal people who have overcome adversity and who live successfully in both cultures.
> Trauma and its Impact
Seeking Bimaadiziiwin is a community-based project made in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. It focuses on the tough issues of racism, depression and suicide among First Nations Youth. It won Best Live Action Short Film at the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco, California in 2007. The full version of this film can be viewed on Vimeo.