Healing historical trauma through resurgence and radical resistance

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Bear, Germaine
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For 500 years, Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island have had to contend with colonial tactics intended to displace, dispossess, disconnect, and disempower Indigenous peoples from their relationships with their territories and their cultural identities. Historical Trauma theory explains these colonial experiences cause disruption and disconnection within Indigenous peoples who now exhibit historical trauma symptoms. This research project is essential because it focuses on how Indigenous peoples can heal from these experiences. Grounded in an Indigenous research paradigm, six participants engaged in six individual one-on-one visits and four days of group work, revealing how resurgence and radical resistance heals historical trauma. Findings show that healing does not occur in isolation, nor is it based solely on the present. For the participants, healing historical trauma by choice is key, the past, present and future is understood through radical resistance, and resurgence resists the compounding affects of historical trauma. Recommendations speak to the necessity of the individual beginning their healing journey, radiating outwards to include family and community to be supportive and to join in on the healing. There is a need for advanced healing programming, education reform, helpful allies, and an anti-colonial shift in how the state provides funding to Indigenous organizations and communities who are engaged in healing practices.
Historical Trauma, Indigenous, Resurgence, Radical Resistance