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Historical Trauma Phone: Elizabeth Digby-Britten

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1 Historical Trauma Phone: 608-317-0080 Elizabeth Digby-Britten
Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Ho-Chunk Nation: Home School Coordinator & Title VII For La Crosse, Onalaska, Holmen & West Salem School Districts Adjunct Professor UWL: Department of Educational Studies B.S. in Art Education from UWL M.E.P.D. in Professional Development from UWL or Phone:

2 Wisconsin Tribes 6 Ojibwe Bands (Chippewa) Lac Courte Oreilles (LCO)
Lac du Flambeau Red Cliff Bad River Mole Lake St. Croix Menominee Ho-Chunk Potawatomi Oneida Stockbridge-Mohicans/Brothertown

3 Estimates: Two studies have been conducted that attempt to number the natives killed by the United States. The first of these was sponsored by the United States government, and while official does not stand up to scrutiny and is therefore discounted (generally); this estimate shows between 1 million to 4 million killed. The second study was not sponsored by the US Government but was done from independent researchers. This study estimated populations and population reductions using later census data. Two figures are given, both low and high, at: between 10 million and 114 million Indians as a direct result of US actions. Please note that Nazi Holocaust estimates are between 6 and 11 million; thereby making the Nazi Holocaust the 2nd largest mass murder of a class of people in history. REF: American Holocaust: D. Stannard (Oxford Press, 1992) - "over 100 million killed" "[Christopher] Columbus personally murdered half a million Natives" God, Greed and Genocide: The Holocaust Through the Centuries: Grenke (New Academia Publishing 2006) Holocaust: Critical Concepts in Historical Studies: Cesarani, (Routledge 2004) (Start to 4:36)

4 “Hitler’s concept of concentration camps as well as the practicality of genocide owed much, so he claimed, to his studies of English and United States history. He admired the camps for Boer prisoners in South Africa and for the Indians in the wild west; and often praised to his inner circle the efficiency of America’s extermination – by starvation and uneven combat – of the red savages who could not be tamed by captivity.” – P. 202, “Adolph Hitler” by John Toland

5 Native Americans killed in service for the United States and killed defending their Indian country is listed below in rough estimated numbers. A likely total of 100, ,000 Native Americans in the U.S. have died since The high end would be around a million. Native Americans have the highest mortality rate of any U.S. minority because of U.S. action and policy. Indians Conflicts & Removals (1973) Wounded Knee II - 2 (1890) Wounded Knee (1864) Sand Creek Massacre (1862) Dakota War of prisoners executed (1876) Battle of Little Big Horn (high estimate) (1838) Cherokee Removal - 4,000 ( ) Seminole Wars I,II, & III (likely high as 10,000) (1831) Choctaw Removal - 2,500 (1812) Red Stick War of the Muscogee or Creek- 3,000 (1791) Battle of the Wabash (1830) Indian Removal Act Being killed for protecting your land and sometimes just for being a Native, what is the consequence? How does that affect your mental wellbeing and safety?

6 Freedom of Religion??? Right to vote:
In the United States, freedom of religion is a constitutionally guaranteed right provided in the religion clauses of the First Amendment. Freedom of religion is also closely associated with separation of church and state, a concept which was written by Thomas Jefferson. However this did not apply to Native Americans until 1978 when the American Indian Religious Freedom Act was passed into federal law. Spirituality is prohibited, what is the consequence? Right to vote: Native Americans were not considered US citizens until 1924 when the Indian Citizenship Act was passes and it wasn’t until 1948 that the last of the states finally allowed Native American the right to vote. Not considered a person/citizen, what is the consequence? How does that affect one’s identity and self-esteem?

7 Col. Richard H. Pratt founded the first of the off-reservation Native American boarding schools based on the philosophy that, according to a speech he made in 1892, "all the Indian there is in the race should be dead." "A great general has said that the only good Indian is a dead one. In a sense, I agree with the sentiment, but only in this: that all the Indian there is in the race should be dead. Kill the Indian in him and save the man.“ Pratt professed "assimilation through total immersion.” The removal of children and destroying the family unit, what impact does this have on community?

8 Most Residential schools closed in the 1980’s and 1990’s.
Wisconsin had eight residential schools, some of the locations were: Tomah, Hayward, Wittenberg, Neillsville and Oneida. Most Residential schools closed in the 1980’s and 1990’s. In that period, when students arrived at the boarding schools, their lives usually altered dramatically. They were given short haircuts (a source of shame for boys of many tribes), uniforms, and English names. They were not allowed to speak their own languages, even between each other, and they were expected to attend church services and encouraged to convert to Christianity. Discipline was stiff in many schools and it often included chores and punishments. The number of Native American children in the boarding schools reached a peak in the 1970s, with an estimated enrollment of 60,000 in Especially through investigations of the later twentieth century, there have been many documented cases of sexual, physical and mental abuse occurring at such schools. Children are removed, this taking of a generation impacts many generations to come, if to wasn’t done through removal of the children to attend residential schools, native women were forced into sterilization and native children were removed from native homes at alarming rates. Indian Child Welfare Act 1978 4:36-8:34

9 Map Showing some of the Locations of Native American Residential Schools


11 10:07-13:09
Tom Torlino, a Carlisle School student, before and after spending time at the school. 10:07-13:09

12 Carlisle Indian School, 1900

13 15:27-15:52
Top: A group of Chiricahua Apache students on their first day at Carlisle Indian School in Carlisle, Pa. Bottom: The same students four months later. 15:27-15:52

14 What other groups of people are impacted by Historical Trauma?

15 Genocide A legal definition is found in the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG). Article 2 of this convention defines genocide as "any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

16 Definition of Historical Trauma
Historical trauma (HT) is cumulative emotional and psychological wounding, over the lifespan and across generations, emanating from massive group trauma experiences. The historical trauma response (HTR) is a constellation of features in reaction to this trauma. The HTR may include substance abuse as a vehicle for attempting to numb the pain associated with trauma. The HTR often includes other types of self-destructive behavior, suicidal thoughts and gestures, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, anger, and difficulty recognizing and expressing emotions. Associated with HTR is historical unresolved grief that accompanies the trauma. Historical trauma is an example of intergenerational trauma, which is the general idea that a trauma an individual experiences in an earlier generation can have effects that reach into the lives of future generations. For example, a pattern of maternal abandonment of a child at a young age might be seen across three generations. Significant original research on the mechanisms of transmission of intergenerational violent trauma has been done by Daniel Schechter.

17 The effects of historical trauma include: unsettled emotional trauma, depression, high mortality rates, high rates of alcohol abuse, significant problems of child abuse and domestic violence.

18 Generational Trauma Once a people have been traumatized, that trauma may be passed from generation to generation in self-perpetuating cycles that are hard to break. This generational trauma can be transmitted by social learning in the  family and community. And growing evidence shows that it may also be inherited epigenetically in the expression of the genes, and from before conception in genomic imprinting.

19 Intergenerational Trauma
Traumatic experiences in childhood have well documented negative impacts on child development. Trauma is related to behavioral and emotional difficulties in children and to the later development of a variety of adult disorders, including depression, anxiety, health problems and antisocial behavior. Ironically, these adults outcomes are, in turn, related to greater risk of trauma for the next generation. As a result, intergenerational cycles of trauma are unintentionally promoted within the family. 8:

20 Trans-generational Trauma
When people have unresolved, unhealed trauma, they often pass on their fears and anxiety, unconsciously, to their children and that it’s not unusual. It consists of emotional wounds that are passed on from one generation to the next in an unconscious manner. Most of the time, this passing on of trauma from one generation to the next occurs because there is little or no understanding about how trauma affects the self and others and the trauma has not been worked through by the person who originally experienced the trauma. nal.html

21 Multigenerational trauma
Trauma experienced in one generation of a family can affect generations to come. This occurs when there has been physical, sexual and emotional abuse of children, neglect of children and domestic violence. In some instances, the effects of other types of trauma such as catastrophes, war, illness, incarceration, addiction, accidents and violence also traumatize other generations. It was first observed in 1966 by clinicians who were alarmed by and concerned about the number of children of Nazi holocaust survivors seeking treatment in Canada.

22 Colonial Trauma In the case of indigenous peoples, trauma is cumulative, with simultaneous or continuous damages to their psyches. The first was physical trauma, by mass murder and infectious diseases. The second one was economic, by the violation of their stewardship of the land, and forced removal from their natural habitat. The third one was cultural, by the compulsive Christianization and the prohibition of local belief systems. The fourth one was social, by the displacement of tribes during colonial expansion, which damaged families, altered gender roles, and diminished cultural values. The last one was psychological, by the marginalization and impoverishment of indigenous peoples on their own lands. For the previous reasons, cumulative trauma is recollected in oral traditions, as in stories and songs, and transmitted from a generation to the next, probably through “electro-chemical processes in the brain” that transmit other cultural codes .

23 Collective Trauma Collective trauma is trauma that happens to large groups of individuals and can be transmitted transgenerationally and across communities.  War, genocide, slavery, terrorism, and natural disasters can cause collective trauma, which can  be further defined as historical, ancestral, or cultural.   Some of the symptoms of collective trauma include rage, depression, denial, survivor guilt and internalized oppression, as well as physiological changes in the brain and body which can bring on chronic disease. International relations are affected by collective and historical trauma as nations and peoples carry the weight of their own historical trauma with them as they  wage war against each other.

24 Disenfranchised Grief
Disenfranchised grief is a term describing grief that is not acknowledged by society. Examples of events leading to disenfranchised grief are the loss of a pet, a trauma in the family a generation prior,[1] the loss of a home or place of residence (particularly in the case of children, who generally have little or no control in such situations, and whose grief may not be noticed or understood by caregivers),[2][3][4] American military children and teens in particular move a great deal while growing up,[5] an aborted/miscarried pregnancy, a mother's loss or surrender of a child to adoption, the death of a loved one due to a socially unacceptable cause such as suicide,[6] or even the death of a celebrity. Loss or severe disability of a parent during wartime (others around the child's family may not be able to relate or support properly) is compared to more traditional forms of grief, such as loss of a spouse, parent, or child. Certain events that are often circumscribed by social stigma can also cause disenfranchised grief, such as the breakup or loss of a secret relationship (e.g. an extramarital affair), botched cosmetic surgery procedures, the diagnosis of a sexual transmitted disease, as well as other events.[7] Traditional forms of grief are more widely recognized even in nontraditional living situations. However, there are few support systems, traditions, or institutions such as bereavement leave available those experiencing disenfrachised grief.

25 General Statistics The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that, from 1999 to 2004: The suicide rate for American Indians/Alaska Natives was per 100,000, higher than the overall US rate of Adults aged had the highest rate of suicide in the American Indian/Alaska Native population, per 100,000. Suicide ranked as the eighth leading cause of death for American Indians/Alaska Natives of all ages. Suicide ranked as the second leading cause of death for those from age of 10 to 34. 17:51-19:51

26 Youth Statistics Among American Indian/Alaska Native youth attending Bureau of Indian Affairs schools in 2001, 16% had attempted suicide in the 12 months preceding the Youth Risk Behavior Survey.2 From 1999 to 2004, American Indian/Alaska Native males in the 15 to 24 year old age group had the highest suicide rate, per 100,000, compared to white (17.54 per 100,000), black (12.80 per 100,000), and Asian/Pacific Islander (8.96 per 100,000) males of the same age.3

27 Mental Health Considerations
• When compared with other racial and ethnic groups, American Indian/Alaska Native youth have more serious problems with mental health disorders related to suicide, such as anxiety, substance abuse, and depression. • Mental health services are not easily accessible to American Indians and Alaska Natives, due to: lack of funding, culturally inappropriate services, and mental health professional shortages and high turnover. For these reasons, Native Americans tend to underutilize mental health services and discontinue therapy. 34:19-36:24

28 Ethnic and Cultural Considerations
According to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Native Americans continue to experience higher rates of poverty, poor educational achievement, substandard housing, and disease. Elements of acculturation - mission and boarding schools, weakening parental influence, and dislocation from native lands - undermine tribal unity and have removed many safeguards against suicide that Native American culture might ordinarily provide. There are very few evidence-based programs that are adapted for American Indian and Alaska Native cultures.

29 Health issues 24.1 percent of AI/ANs lack health insurance coverage (2009 census data) and rely solely on the Indian health system. This is one factor leading to major health disparities among the AI/AN population: Alcoholism mortality rates are 514 percent higher than the general population. Suicide rates are more than double, and Native teens experience the highest rate of suicide of any population group in the United States. Diabetes incidence is 177 percent higher, with the highest rate of type 2 diabetes of any specific population in the U.S. Tuberculosis incidence is 500 percent higher.

30 Graduation Rate The national graduation rate for American Indian high school students was 51 percent for the 2010 school year, compared with 76.2 percent for white students. Just 13.3 percent of Native Americans have undergraduate degrees, versus 24.4 percent of the general population (NIEA). Native Students are told today that they are filthy Indians! The curriculum taught in schools sends this message and it is endorsed by teachers and administration by being allowed to remain. Administration refuses to remove it, often denying the impact on our Native students. Native students are continually being reminded that they aren’t important enough to teach our history correctly or ignored completely. Who’s viewpoint is being shared in History class? Literature? Science? Math? 37:

31 Statistics on Native American Youth
According to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 16 percent of students at Bureau of Indian Affairs schools in 2001 reported having attempted suicide in the preceding 12 months. About 2 percent of US children are American Indian/Alaska Native, but AI/ANs represent 8.4 percent of the children in foster care. (NICWA, & Kids Are Waiting, 2007) Violence, including intentional injuries, homicide and suicide account for 75% of deaths for AI/AN youth age High school dropout rates for AI/AN youth are double the national average (Journal of American Indian Education), and over 50 percent in states with the highest AI/AN populations and the Pacific Northwest (UCLA study).  Adolescent AI/ANs have death rates 2 to 5 times the rate of Whites in the same age group (SAMHSA), resulting from higher levels of suicide and a variety of risky behaviors.  Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death – and 2.5 times the national rate – for AI/AN youth in the age group.  22% of females and 12% of males reported to have attempted suicide, while 5% had serious thoughts of suicide in the past year.  The reported rate of binge alcohol use over the past month was higher among AI/AN adults than the national average (30.6 percent vs percent).  Only 1 in 8 (12.6 percent) of AI/AN adults (24,000 people) in need of alcohol or illicit drug use treatment in the past year received treatment at a specialty facility

32 Articles

33 Articles

34 Articles

35 Six Phases of Historical Unresolved Grief
1. 1st Contact: life shock, genocide, no time for grief. Colonization Period: introduction of disease and alcohol, traumatic events such as Wounded Knee Massacre. 2. Economic competition: sustenance loss (physical/spiritual). 3. Invasion/War Period: extermination, refugee symptoms. 4. Subjugation/Reservation Period: confined/translocated, forced dependency on oppressor, lack of security. 5. Boarding School Period: destroyed family system, beatings, rape, forced sterilization, prohibition of Native language and religion; Lasting Effect: ill-prepared for parenting, identity confusion. 6. Forced Relocation and Termination Period: transfer to urban areas, prohibition of religious freedom, racism and being viewed as second class; loss of governmental system and community. 19:

36 Healing Historical Trauma
First is confronting the historical trauma. Second is understanding the trauma. Third is releasing the pain of historical trauma. Fourth is transcending the trauma. We offer 3 major hypotheses for the intervention model: 1. Education increases awareness of trauma. 2. Sharing effects of trauma provides relief. 3. Grief resolution through collective mourning/healing creates positive group identity and commitment to community. 50:27-51:07 & 58:00-59:26

37 Thank YOU!!!!

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