Healing from Historical Trauma and Oppression

Atrocities perpetrated over centuries of colonization have deeply affected Indigenous communities, and authentic change is only possible with the healing of these wounds. Yet decades of government and non-profit social service programs that have attempted to address violence, addiction and other social problems in Indigenous communities have largely been driven from outside those communities, and have done little to alleviate the suffering.

7th Gen Fund_001Women copyResearch on intergenerational historical trauma has offered a deeper perspective on the root causes of these destructive behaviors, and offers a pathway for potential solutions focused on the core need for healing. Simply treating the symptoms of oppression, without providing culturally appropriate opportunities for Indigenous peoples to process long histories of grief and trauma, only perpetuates the status quo.

Our approach

We aim to support Indigenous initiatives that seek to stop the systematic transmission of trauma from generation to generation by allowing communities to embrace health in a holistic way that involves mind, body, and spirit, allowing for future generations to once again be infused with positive self, and the fulfilling sense of belonging and purpose. An array of Indigenous initiatives has taken shape to offer pathways for healing from historical trauma and grief. These range from constructive and holistic therapeutic approaches, to reproductive justice efforts, to activism combating cultural appropriation and racist stereotypes and narratives. Breaking the silence about individual and collective trauma is also a critical part of the healing process. We will focus on efforts that allow for the sharing of stories of grief and pain, helping people and communities to shed the shame and stigma and can break the generational chain of trauma.