Historical trauma in Native Peoples has produced other traumas: abuse, neglect and addiction. However, From tapping the healing power that is within them there are powerful stories of healing strategies occurring now in tribal communities.
For many American Indian people, “historical trauma” is like a blanket of clouds that never clears for sunshine. Trauma resulting from loss of land, forced relocation, and coercion to abandon cultural traditions has produced other traumas: abuse, neglect and addiction. Emerging science, however, shows that positive relationships – the heart of tribes’ collectivist values – are critical to healing. The same parts of the human brain overseeing such core functions as breathing and heart rhythm are also linked to the life-giving impact of relationships on mind, body and spirit.
Unpacking this information is important if Indian people are to fully address the impact of trauma on their lives, shifting from “what is wrong with me?” to “what happened to me?”
Healing is a significant need in many Native American communities. The solution is found in caring, supportive relationships across the lifespan. A positive relationship between baby and parent leads to a child’s healthy brain development. An adolescent needs support from at least one caring adult. Victims of violence need an advocate to both listen and remind them of their positive core. Positive relationships help moderate the impact of stress.
While the overall situation is dire, the solution is not simply hiring more therapists and social workers. Tapping the mutual support and healing power that is within everyone, their interrelationships and their cultural beliefs leads to “RESILIENCE”, a necessity for communities to cope, and to heal. Since resilience comes from positive relationships, all Indian people essentially are healers with capacity to address their own healing – by shifting from negative to the positive, by supporting all people to rediscover their innate positive core, and by honoring relationships while becoming good relatives to each other.
There are powerful stories of healing strategies occurring now in tribal communities across the Plains. In Resilience, viewers are led us into these communities and introduced to individuals and programs which are helping this traditional way of being to blossom once again.These stories are about reclaiming a way of being that puts into practice the cultural concept of All My Relations.
They are about watching people come to the realization that RELATIONSHIPS ARE EVERYTHING – in their own healing, their family wellbeing, their work, etc. This is about empowerment – on a personal, family, cultural and community level. Having faced genocide and conditions that should have exterminated them, Indian people have survived because of relationships and their value of interdependence. With more people on the planet facing growing inequities due to poverty and their own loss, American Indians have wisdom to share with each other and the world.
This Program is produced by Ten Rounds Pictures, LLC for a presentation of Vision Maker Media with major funding provided by The Corporation for Public Broadcasting.