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July 25, 2014
 
 
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Terry Mitchell

Healing the Generations: Post-traumatic stress and the health status of the Canadian Aboriginal population


Mitchell, T. & Maracle, D.

published: 2005 | Research publication | Indigenous Research

The enduring impact of colonization and loss of culture are identified as critical health issues for
Aboriginal populations. The authors discuss the concepts of historical and intergenerational
trauma identifying steps to address the past as Aboriginal Peoples move forward to a healthy
future. The authors analyze the enduring and unacceptable health inequalities between
Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in Canada. This paper emphasizes the importance of
addressing the substantial historical reasons for this inequality. The authors suggest that current
popular explanations for such gross differences in health are limited and lack substantive
historical perspective. Post-traumatic stress disorder is discussed critically as an important concept
for understanding Aboriginal health inequalities. Post-traumatic stress response, versus disorder, is
presented as a less stigmatizing and potentially culturally-appropriate framework to view the
inequalities in a historical and political light. A historically and politically-based stress response is
proposed as a framework for understanding the health inequities between Aboriginal and non-
Aboriginal people to advance healing for indigenous people worldwide.

Download: PDF (604k)    JournalVol2No1ENG4headinggenerations.pdf

revised Apr 4/13

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