How do we begin to break the cycle of intergenerational trauma associated with continuing revelations about residential schools in Canada and the United States? That topic will be discussed on the July 2021 broadcast of Indigenous Perspectives, an internet streamed radio show and podcast. Our July show guests, Bill and Grace Anna Wiser from the Bruderhof community, will discuss their decades of work on trauma and forgiveness with those who have experienced victimization, suffering, and genocide, including aboriginal people in Australia. They offer compelling stories about how victims begin to heal themselves when they make a conscious choice to forgive and move their lives forward into a new chapter.
As we experience the exhuming of a painful history of what happened to children at Indian Residential Schools in Canada and the United States, where they were subjected to often brutal assimilation, we face the question of intergenerational trauma. Psychological and emotional scars can endure in families and communities long after survivors have escaped the immediate environment of trauma or have died.
How trauma is transferred from one generation to another is complex. Part of the explanation is that the same external factors continue to victimize one generation after another. This is certainly the case with many indigenous people who must cope daily with the same injustices and obstacles that were inflicted on parents and grandparents.
Native Americans and First Nations peoples cannot undo past history. But we do have choices about how we confront our current circumstances. And to some degree we have choices about the degree to which we are willing to participate in continuing a cycle of bitterness, anger, shame and revenge that typically follows in the wake of trauma. What are the implications of understanding that a mindset of victimhood and pain contributes to the recycling of trauma? Can victims and the descendants of victims take steps on their own, to reduce intergenerational trauma? Why might they do this? And how can it be done?
Please join us for a discussion about how we can move forward, as painful memories are exhumed. Our July show airs at 12 noon Thursday July 22 at http://www.healthylife.net/HRNlivestreamplayer.htm and is available as a podcast after the show at http://www.healthylife.net/RadioShow/archiveIP.htm. Randy Kritkausky, the show’s co-host, is an enrolled Citizen Potawatomi Nation tribal member. His grandfather grew up in Indian Residential Schools (Chilocco, Carlisle, Hampton).`