Healing journeys: stories of urban First Nations women overcoming trauma

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Hart, Kimberly
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This Master of Social Work thesis focused on the healing journeys of urban First Nations women who have overcome trauma. The purpose of this research study was to develop a deeper understanding of healing and trauma from an Indigenous perspective. This Master of Social Work thesis created space for Indigenous knowledges so that Indigenous perspectives on the aspects of healing and trauma could be brought forward. At the centre of this created space were the voices of urban First Nations women and their shared stories of healing. This qualitative research study applied Indigenous research methodology, which also included narrative research methodology. In this study, the stories of five First Nations women who reside in an urban centre in Manitoba and who were well into their journeys of healing from trauma were explored. Manitoba First Nations traditional values, practice and protocol guided this thesis project to ensure that this research was conducted ethically and respectfully. The Medicine Wheel was used as a conceptual framework to understand the journeys of healing as well as the trauma experiences of the five women within the context of the life stages of human development. The meta-narratives and life narratives of the women provided accounts of their healing journeys. The findings of this research identified the following three overarching themes: living colonized lives, relationships, and healing paths. Recommendations were outlined for future social work research, practice, and education.
Healing, trauma, First Nations, women, urban