November 28, 2006

Intergenerational trauma (the Jay Silverheels Complex)

The lost generationsThe term, first coined in the mid-1980s by U.S. scholar Dr. Maria Yellow Horse Brave Heart, is defined as what happens when an ethnic group is traumatized over an extended period of time. What happened to the Aboriginals over the past 100 years has resulted in the highest levels of alcohol addiction and suicide in Canada.

"Forced assimilation and cumulative losses across generations involving language, culture and spirituality contribute to the breakdown of the family kinship networks and social structures," Dr. Brave Heart writes. "The historical legacy and the current psychosocial conditions contribute to ongoing intergenerational traumas."
How it works:"I think you're dealing with generations of people who have been damaged by colonialism," Wieman says, "and the way that we have been treated by the dominant culture makes you feel dispirited. You feel devalued and so people will turn to things like addictions as a way of coping, of self-medicating, of not really wanting to be here because their situation is just so intolerable."

No comments: