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Historical Trauma & Microaggressions


"Historical trauma differs from other types of trauma in that the traumatic event is shared by a collective group of people who experience the consequences of the event, as well as the fact that the impact of the trauma is held personally and can be transmitted over generations." - Historical Trauma and Microaggressions: A Framework for Culturally-Based Practice


Sections Index (scroll down to access):

  1. General
  2. African American
  3. American Indian/Alaska Native (AIAN) - United States

  4. First Nation/American Indian - Canada

  5. Aboriginal Australians



1. General 

Being Trauma-Informed: Expanding Our Lenses - From the National Latin@ Network, a Project of Casa de Esperanza. (Jan. 2013).

Cultural Competence - Resources from the Office of Adolescent Health, USDHHS.

Intergenerational Trauma (video) - Dr. Joe Solanto explains Type 1, 2, & 3 (Intergenerational) traumas. 

Microaggression or Micro-Inequities - Described as a series of minor but constant indignities, "incessant, often gratuitous and subtle offenses," based on identity characteristics. Others use the term micro-inequity, claiming that 'aggression' implies some kind of motivation to offend which cannot be proven. Microaggressive behavior is usually an expression of ignorance, stereotype, or unconscious bias….”

Understanding Cultural Conditions ( video 3 min) 



2. African American

Conversations about Historical Trauma - Part One, (p 7)

Conversations about Historical Trauma Part Two

VOICES: Hearing from African American Families about Trauma



3. American Indian/Alaska Native (AIAN) - United States 

The American Indian Holocaust: Healing Historical Unresolved Grief -  (p 60) 

Building Partnerships: Conversations with Native Americans About Mental Health Needs and Community Strengths - UC Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities. (2009). 

Conversations about Historical Trauma - Part One  Maria Yellow Horse Brave Heart, PhD, was interviewed in this article in the Spotlight on Culture section of the Impact Newsletter from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. (May 2013).

Cultural Adaptations of Trauma Treatments in Indian Country - This article discusses how traditional Native culture activities have been integrated into evidence-based trauma treatments at the National Native Children's Trauma Center in Montana. It reports that the cultural adaptations enhance acceptability, sustainability, and effectiveness of trauma treatments, as well as the engagement of local community members in participatory dialog regarding their perceptions on the value of treating childhood trauma, the outcomes of successful trauma treatment, and whether there are traditional support strategies that could be blended with the evidence-based trauma treatment. CW360: A Comprehensive Look at a Prevalent Child Welfare Issue. (Winter 2013, pp 25, 38). 

Echoes of historical trauma: Effects of centuries of loss can hamper recovery from violence - Native Americans. (2013).

Historical Trauma Among Indigenous Peoples of the Americas: Concepts, Research, and Clinical Considerations - Brave Heart, et al. (Dec. 2011). Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 43(4), p 282–290.

Historical Trauma and Microaggressions: A Framework for Culturally-Based Practice - University of Minnesota: Children’s Mental Health eReview. (Oct. 2010).

Kind Hearted Woman - In a special two-part series, acclaimed filmmaker David Sutherland creates an unforgettable portrait of Robin Charboneau (now Robin Poor Boy), a 32-year-old single, divorced mother and Dakota woman living on North Dakota’s Spirit Lake Reservation. Sutherland follows Robin over three years as she struggles to raise her two children, further her education, and heal herself from the wounds of sexual abuse she suffered as a child. FRONTLINE. (2013). (5 hours)

Our Spirits Don't Speak English - Documentary trailers, etc. --  Playlist on YouTube -- Find in a library (type in your zip code) 

Researchers Explore Roots of American Indian Resilience - News story on historical trauma and healing in the American Indian community. Arizona Public Media. (Sept. 2013).

US Indian Policy as Racial Discrimination, Pacifica Radio's Law & Disorder Program Interviews Lakota People's Law Project's Daniel Sheehan (5 min video)

White Bison - Offers sobriety, recovery, addictions prevention, and wellness/Wellbriety learning resources to the Native American community nationwide. Many non-Native people also use White Bison's healing resource products, attend its learning circles, and volunteer their services.



4. First Nation/American Indian - Canada 

Hidden from History: The Canadian Holocaust - Online book, includes videos.

Reclaiming Connections: Understanding Residential School Trauma Among Aboriginal People - A Canadian publication, this manual represents a collaborative effort shared by many people deeply committed to promoting recovery from the trauma of residential school abuse and its intergenerational impacts. The Aboriginal Healing Foundation (2004).



5. Aboriginal Australians 

Australian Institute of Health & Welfare - Various publications for working with Indigenous Australians. (2013).

Helping Aboriginal survivors of child abuse and trauma - (11 min podcast) - Australia

Rabbit Proof Fence - Feature film about Australia's Aborigines Act. (2002).

Trauma-informed services and trauma-specific care for Indigenous Australian children - Atkinson J. (2013). Resource sheet no. 21. Produced for the Closing the Gap Clearinghouse. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare & Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies. [This is a 27-page document].


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Thanks Chris Engel and Johanna for this! 

Johanna/Chris, as an afterthought, I'm wondering if it would help for you folks to have an accessible copy of the "PILOTS (Published International Literature On Traumatic Stress) DATABASE User's Guide" for the National Center for PTSD Library. It's not limited to just traumatic stress of Veterans, and not all publications are in English. Access to the PTSD database was through the NISC Biblioline service-according to my third edition (January 2001) which has been updated a number of times since then. Their most current website is; e-mail is; (802) 296-5132 is their phone in White River Junction, Vermont. I don't know if the old e-mail address [ ] is still operational.

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