Psychosocial aspects of historical and cultural learning: Historical trauma and resilience among indigenous young adults

Melissa Lewis, Rose Stremlau, Melissa Walls, Julie Reed, Jack Baker, Wyman Kirk, Tom Belt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose. The purpose of this manuscript is to evaluate the impact of the Remember the Removal (RTR) program, with specific emphasis on participants’ experiences learning about and reacting to Cherokee history, including historical trauma. Methods. Two cohorts of intervention participants (1984 and 2015) participated in focus groups. An exploratory analysis was performed to categorize themes around the effects of historical training. Results. Results yielded two themes and subsequent sub- themes: 1) Reactions to Historical Learning: confronting misrepresentation and erasure, mixed emotions, looking backwards, looking forwards, strengthening Cherokee identity; and 2) The Effects of Colonization: emotional sides of historical loss, empowerment, resilience, and belonging, and addressing contemporary discrimination. Conclusion. Teaching tribally- specific historical events was related to increased thoughts about historical loss, an increased awareness of non- Native people’s lack of historical knowledge about Native people and subsequent experiences of discrimination, but also an increased sense of tribal identity, resilience, and belonging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)987-1018
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
Volume32
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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