Disillusionment, faith, and cultural traumatization on a northern plains reservation

Lori L. Jervis, Jan Beals, Cecelia K. Big Crow, Dedra Buchwald, Buck Chambers, Michelle L. Christensen, Denise A. Dillard, Karen DuBray, Paula A. Espinoza, Candace M. Fleming, Ann Wilson Frederick, Joseph Gone, Diana Gurley, Shirlene M. Jim, Suzell A. Klein, Denise Lee, Spero M. Manson, Monica C. McNulty, Denise L. Middlebrook, Christina M. MitchellLaurie A. Moore, Tilda D. Nez, Ilena M. Norton, Douglas K. Novins, Theresa O'Nell, Heather D. Orton, Carlette J. Randall, James H. Shore, Sylvia G. Simpson, Lorette Yazzie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Many American Indian people experience traumatization related to their postcolonial status that extends beyond the individual. This article explores experiences of cultural traumatization among 44 Northern Plains American Indians who were part of a population-based psychiatric epidemiological study. Of special interest were the ways in which cultural trauma was expressed in this community's sociality and worldview (e.g., disillusionment with community leaders, grief about perceived culture loss) and the complex connections between traumatization at the level of the individual and the community. Spirituality/religion served as a primary means for reconnecting with traditional culture, which proved crucial in people's attempts to cope with community traumatization. The uneasy coexistence of disillusionment, grief over culture loss, and faith cautions against embracing simplistic notions of Native reactions to cultural trauma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-22
Number of pages12
JournalTraumatology
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

Keywords

  • American Indians
  • Cultural trauma
  • Group trauma
  • Qualitative methods
  • Religion
  • Spirituality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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