Intergenerational Trauma: Understanding Natives’ Inherited Pain

Indian Country Today

Get a Free Report that explores the impact of Indian boarding schools and more on today’s American Indians

Dear Friend,

Parents, grandparents, great-grandparents … all of these, in many ways both conscious and unconscious, have handed down their suffering to today’s American Indian generation.

This truth is no longer in dispute now that modern science has caught up with what Native collective knowledge has understood for more than a hundred years.

The question that remains is not whether intergenerational trauma exists, but specifically what causes it, what it is and what to do about it.

These are questions addressed in this perceptive, insightful Free Report from Indian Country Media Network, Intergenerational Trauma: Understanding Natives’ Inherited Pain, which you can download right now.

There is much to learn about intergenerational trauma and the science that explains it, epigenetics. No matter what you already know, you will certainly discover new insights in this Free Report. It includes not just the science – what historical trauma is and how it happens – but also real, personal stories of historical trauma in families.

You’ll even explore ways to treat and heal this trauma, both new and old, combining modern psychology with ancient spiritual healing.

Why should you learn about intergenerational trauma?

Most American Indians, whether they’ve aware of it or not, are suffering from historical, intergenerational trauma. This concept, understood only fairly recently, is something that both Natives and non-Natives must understand if a new, better way of living together in America is to be achieved.

Natives must learn how their great-grandparents’ own pain and suffering can still be impacting them today via epigenetics, in which trauma experienced by earlier generations can influence the structure of our genes, making them more likely to “switch on” negative responses to stress and trauma; and via the actual lessons handed down – or not handed down – as a result of institutional trauma such as Indian schools, alcoholism and sexual abuse.

And non-Natives simply cannot understand the challenges faced by today’s generations without learning about this historical trauma.

This Free Report, written by a journalist with deep roots in her own Native family’s trauma, is designed to help you …

  • Learn about epigenetics, in which the genes of traumatize people can be altered
  • Understand the real-life ways in which trauma is handed down
  • Discover the secret inherited trait that has helped Indians survive as a people
  • Empathize with the painful historical memories that shaped the lives of American Indians living today
  • Explore the treatments that can potentially help Indians heal
  • Gain hope for yourself and for future generations of American Indians

This Free Report brings together the latest science with practical wisdom. For example, did you know that a 2008 study that examined the brains of suicide victims discovered that the genes governing stress responses in a victim’s hippocampus had been altered or even switched off – and that all the victims in the study had been sexually abused as children?

At the same time, researchers and social workers also believe that Natives may well possess an inherited resilience, which can be nurtured through such things as looking for opportunities for self-discovery, taking care of yourself, and meditation and spiritual practice.

Thus this Free Report delivers more than just information – it offers help and hope. Download Intergenerational Trauma: Understanding Natives’ Inherited Pain now, and begin your own journey of understanding.

Intergenerational trauma is more than just epigenetics

While it’s important to acknowledge the neurological causes of inherited trauma, author Mary Annette Pember, an accomplished journalist who has spent many years reporting on the concept, also understands – from personal experience – the actual life events that can impact every generation of American Indians.

In this Free Report, she helps put a human face on abstract theory and practice, sharing personal stories that are gritty, poignant and factual. For instance, the ugly history of Indian schools, in which children were torn from their communities and culture to be turned into non-Natives, has almost certainly created generation after generation of Indian families who have no concept of parenting or family life.

Pember also notes that problems such as alcoholism also traumatize children, who in turn relive that behavior as adults. Pember’s personal exploration of her own family turns up the truth that her grandfather was a vicious drunk, whose attacks on her grandmother caused her to abandon her children – including Pember’s mother.

And in the end, she writes, “[Grandmother] Cele’s actions were the beginning of yet another cycle of abandonment. It seems more than coincidental that she was the first generation to attend Sister School and to hear their messages of Indian racial, cultural and spiritual inferiority. Did she come to believe that she and Native people were unfit to parent their own children?”

This Free Report puts a human face on the theory and scientific discussion of intergenerational trauma. Lack of family life, alcoholism and ingrained notions of inferiority are just a few of the problems brought to light here. Whatever your previous level of understanding, this Free Report should be an important part of your search for knowledge.

Why should you turn to Indian Country Media Network to learn about intergenerational trauma?

You can read any number of scientific journals for reporting on intergenerational trauma. You can even find news about it in the mainstream media. But this Free Report from Indian Country Media Network is the only information that combines the science with the personal, human evidence of this tragedy, and does it in a Native voice.

You see, there are few resources with the respect and deep understanding of Native cultures required to spread greater knowledge to a world in desperate need of it. But Indian Country Media Network is just such a resource, offering in-depth, culturally appropriate coverage of Native Peoples and their many cultures, accomplishments and history. Indian Country Media Network is an internationally recognized news service owned by the Oneida Indian Nation of New York, but its award-winning journalists cover all Peoples.

Among its most recognized journalistic efforts are the reports on the 2013 U.S. Supreme Court ‘Baby Veronica’ case; a series of articles covering the controversial 2015 National Defense Authorization Act “land swap” provision that would give land sacred to the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona to Resolution Copper Mine; and ongoing coverage of the Native American mascot controversy.

Indian Country Media has won numerous awards at the Native American Journalists Association. In 2014, ICTMN earned 17 awards including Best Digital Publication for its 12-page digital newsletter and first place for General Excellence. In 2013, ICTMN took 11 awards at the conference.

We are not just any media company. We are the most forward-thinking, in-depth, knowledgeable publication for and by Natives available today. So when you read Intergenerational Trauma: Understanding Natives’ Inherited Pain, you’re reading the most knowledgeable, culturally-sensitive material you’ll ever find on this concept.

So we encourage you to download this FREE information right now. If you want to understand this complex problem, this is the best place to begin.

Yours for knowledge and healing,

The Editors
Indian Country Media Network

PS: Remember, this is a Free Report, which costs you nothing to add to your library. And you’ll learn not only about the science of epigenetics, but about the real-life traumas that have been handed down generation after generation, and also about the potential for healing and hope.

PPS: This Free Report’s author, Mary Annette Pember, is dedicated to building a knowledge base about intergenerational trauma. She was the first Native woman to graduate from University of Wisconsin, Madison’s School of Journalism, and has also undertaken years of work to promote Native journalism. There is nowhere else you can find a report like this on intergenerational trauma in a Native voice!

Comments (3)
No. 1-3

When I try to download the report on Transgenerational Pain using the link provided, it does not work.


Kia Ora, I am from Aotearoa/New Zealand and am currently doing my Masters in indigenous studies. I develop Well-being strategies and am currently working on transgenerational emotional and spiritual lineage. Western science is running to catch up on what we as Natives have been aware of for some time and I hope to be able to present it in a way that is simple yet effective. You may already be doing this yourself but I would be happy to share with you as I develop this strategy. I can be contacted at