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Assignment Details: 3-4 Pages (not counting Title Page or Reference Page)Double spacedTimes New RomanAPA 6th EditionHeadersNeed a Catchy Title1st. You will need to create a case scenario / client ( must be Canadian Indigenous person…. eg: Indigenous man getting released from jail OR Indigenous woman in abusive relationship on reserve etc…..you can create one )2nd Select a healing ceremony (SWEAT LODGE is what the student has chosen so please use that).You will research it and incorporate how Sweat Lodge Ceremony can enhance healing for the individual, include how the client will access the Sweat Lodge , what you will do to integrate with Western Methods, how you will do your case planning and identify your practice expectations.3rd. You will also critically reflect on your understanding of Traditional Healing and how it fits in a contemporary context of health service delivery. Using a strengths based recovery orientation, you will demonstrate a thorough understanding of how health is interpreted in Indigenous communities as well as cultural safety and how it is reflected in service delivery. Strive to be culturally appropriate and informed. Write in your own words, as you are reflecting your understanding. There should be very little cutting and pasting as you are using your own words. This assignment provides the opportunity for the student to demonstrate an understanding of Indigenous practice considerations in working with First Nations people and how those practices contrast with mainstream health and substance use services. A treatment process that applies the cultural lens including how their own biases impact on service delivery.I have attached please 3 readings taken from my class.you do not have to use them but my Prof really likes when students use the class readings in their assignments – even a small quote taken from them would be good so please try. Any other references you use can ONLY BE CANADIANEVERYTHING needs reference, the prof will give a ZERO if not referenced.Only use the readings if you find them useful – it will just help me make my Prof happy – other resources are OK also (CANADIAN ONLY). please note the last part is critical reflection……. It is bolded in the instructions attached above. Please read this before you start My prof is very strict on formatting, grammar and plagiarism. Please ensure that the paper is well formatted with the relevant sources. ensure you in-text citation as per the sources used.Ensure you proofread the paper and check for grammar errors before sending it. Avoid plagiarism at all costProvide high quality work with a good flow
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Healing history? Aboriginal
healing, historical trauma, and
personal responsibility
Article in Transcultural Psychiatry · June 2013
Impact Factor: 0.99 · DOI: 10.1177/1363461513487671 · Source: PubMed
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James Waldram
University of Saskatchewan
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Healing history? Aboriginal healing, historical trauma, and personal
responsibility
James B. Waldram
Transcultural Psychiatry published online 20 June 2013
DOI: 10.1177/1363461513487671
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DOI: 10.1177/1363461513487671 tps.sagepub.com
Article
Healing history? Aboriginal healing,
historical trauma, and personal
responsibility
James B. Waldram
University of Saskatchewan
Abstract
What can an exploration of contemporary Aboriginal healing programs such as those
offered in Canadian prisons and urban clinics tell us about the importance of history in
understanding social and psychological pathology, and more significantly the salience of
the concept of “historical trauma”? The form of Aboriginal “healing” that has emerged
in recent decades to become dominant in many parts of the country is itself a reflection
of historical processes and efforts to ameliorate the consequences of what is today
often termed “historical trauma.” In other words, contemporary notions of “healing”
and the social, cultural, medical, and psychological disruption and distress caused by
colonialism and captured in the term “historical trauma” have coevolved in an interdependent manner. I also argue that there is a tension between the attribution of this
distress to both specific (e.g., residential schools) and generalized (e.g., colonialism)
historical factors, as evident in the “historical trauma” concept, and the prevailing
emphasis in many healing programs to encourage the individual to take personal responsibility for their situation and avoid attributing blame to other factors. I conclude that
“historical trauma” represents an idiom of distress that captures a variety of historical
and contemporary phenomena and which provides a language for expressing distress
that is gaining currency, at least among scholars, and that the contemporary Aboriginal
healing movement represents an effort to deal with the absence or failure of both
“traditional” Aboriginal healing and government-sponsored medical and psychological
services to adequately deal with this distress of colonialism.
Keywords
Aboriginal peoples, healing, historical trauma, idioms of distress, mental health
Corresponding author:
James B. Waldram, Department of Psychology, University of Saskatchewan, 9 Campus Dr., Saskatoon, SK, S7N
5A5, Canada.
Email: [email protected]
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We are sitting in a circle, about 15 men in total, half Aboriginal. Today, the men in
this federal prison unit are expected to “disclose” the story of their life and crimes.
This is not a simple autobiography, however, as there is a distinct form to the
narratives to be told, and a corresponding officially sanctioned content that is
expected (Waldram, 2012). This unit is for men with particularly aggressive behavior who have proven hard to manage in their home penitentiaries and resistant to
treatment. Open disclosure is not their strong suit, and they have learned over
many years in prison the importance of keeping one’s own counsel as a means
of remaining safe. But here, they are required to tell “all.”
An Aboriginal inmate is called upon today to disclose. This is the first step in
what forensic professionals hope will be the path to rehabilitation. He starts by
telling us about his childhood, life on the reserve, and the problems with poverty,
alcohol, and drugs that were endemic. He continues by explaining that these problems, of which he is a “victim” (his words), have been caused by the government,
which stole his people’s land, forced them to live on reserves, and starved them.
“That’s an ‘outside issue,’” declares one therapist. The meaning of an “outside
issue” has already been explained in the unit’s orientation to treatment. It means an
issue over which the inmate has no control, and therefore is not amenable to
treatment. It is not a “dynamic” factor that the inmate can work on to improve
his well-being and decrease his criminality. “That’s history, in the past,” continues
the therapist. “History didn’t make you do these crimes. You did.” Chastised, the
inmate weakly tries to explain that this history is important to understanding his
crimes, but he is interrupted by several non-Aboriginal inmates, who, mimicking
the therapeutic program language that they are learning, accuse him of justifying
his actions. “History is just a cognitive distortion,” declares one. Frustrated and
thwarted, the inmate sits back down, refusing to continue with his story.
A few days later I am attending a sacred circle held in the Aboriginal program
center in the same prison, conducted by an Elder who has been contracted to
deliver spiritual services to the Aboriginal inmates. The inmates sit quietly in a
circle, relaxed, quite a contrast to the raucous nature of the mainstream group
therapy sessions. The Elder speaks for a few moments about an aspect of his
life, sharing a story of his drinking days and how it affected his family and community. He then asks if the inmates want to say anything. As we go around the
circle several speak up. When it comes to the inmate I have described above, he
starts to explain his story in similar terms as he had done in the therapy group. He
describes life on his reserve, the poverty and drinking, the violence, and relates
these to the government theft of his people’s land and the reserve system. Everyone
is quiet, and there are no interruptions with the exception of quiet utterances of
support and agreement. “Hau.” “Hey hey.” When he and the others are done and
the session is coming to a close, the Elder offers a “teaching.” He tells the men that
the history of what was done to Aboriginal peoples is important, that it explains
many of the current problems that the inmates have experienced. It must not
be forgotten. This history provides a framework for understanding alcohol
abuse, violence, and criminality, because this is not the “natural” disposition of
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Aboriginal people. It is “not our way” he emphasizes. It has been caused by government and settlers and their policies and thievery. So don’t feel bad, because you
are not bad, he explains. You were made bad. Our people were not like this before.
The residential schools killed our spirit, and we must get it back, he relates quietly.
But, he adds, pausing for effect, you cannot blame others for your actions. You did
the crime, and only you, and you must take responsibility for that. “Warriors take
responsibility,” he emphasizes, “They make things right. They don’t blame.” The
room is dead quiet, every man hanging on these words as the Elder concludes.
“Hey hey,” the men respond softly, nodding their heads solemnly.
Let’s make sense of these two contrasting sessions. In the mainstream session,
appeals to history are viewed as an attempt to justify criminal actions, as a form of
cognitive distortion within the cognitive behavioral model of forensic treatment
(Waldram, 2012). Such appeals are routinely rejected in favour of an interpretation
of criminality as the product of an agentive individual who “chooses” to commit
crimes. In the Aboriginal session, historical explanation is central, yet here too, in
the end the lesson is the same: take responsibility for your actions, don’t blame
others. In my work on Aboriginal healing programs in prisons (Waldram, 1997),
I documented how the Aboriginal approach seemed to be more effective in communicating this message in a way that resonated with Aboriginal inmates. Why?
For these Aboriginal inmates, to discount the history of their people is to discount
them personally. When historical issues are raised and summarily rejected, many
Aboriginal men shut down, passively refusing to engage with the mainstream
programming.
What can an exploration of contemporary Aboriginal healing programs such as
those offered in prisons tell us about the importance of history in understanding
social and psychological pathology, and more significantly the salience of the concept of “historical trauma”? In this article, I weave together three arguments. First,
I suggest that the form of Aboriginal “healing” that has emerged in recent decades
to become dominant in many parts of the country is itself a reflection of historical
processes and efforts to ameliorate the consequences of what is today often termed
“historical trauma.” The reason for this, in my view, is that “healing” of “historical
trauma” has, for these same historical reasons, emerged as one of the key areas in
which appeals to Aboriginal culture, spirituality, and tradition carry some currency
with Aboriginal as well as non Aboriginal peoples (including government agencies
which fund healing programs). I am proposing that “healing” and “historical
trauma,” despite emerging at somewhat different historical moments, have more
recently continued to evolve in a relational manner. In other words, contemporary
notions of “healing” are designed to ameliorate “historical trauma,” and “historical trauma” exists as an emerging idiom to allow for healing.
In my second argument, I explore the tension between attribution of social,
cultural, and psychological distress to both specific (e.g., residential schools) and
general (e.g., colonialism) historical factors, as evident in the “historical trauma”
concept, and the prevailing emphasis in many healing programs to encourage the
individual to take personal responsibility for both their situation and their healing
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Transcultural Psychiatry 0(0)
while avoiding external attribution. While historical forces are acknowledged as the
root cause of much pathology, in these programs “historical trauma” discourse per
se is often absent and personal agency is stressed.
Finally, in my third argument, I explore how “historical trauma” has emerged
not only as a framework to explain contemporary social suffering among
Aboriginal peoples, but also as an idiom of distress (Nichter, 1981) that connects
the individual to the social, the cultural, and the historical simultaneously and in a
manner that both explains contemporary pathology and situates it strategically
along a continuum of agency that allows for healing despite the on-going presence
of colonial risk factors. Further, it is an idiom that must be learned, often actively,
as part of the broader emphasis on teaching individuals how to heal.
Aboriginal healing in contemporary perspective
Contemporary Aboriginal “healing” looks very different from it did in the earlier
eras of colonization. Indeed, there is considerable historical evidence that demonstrates that Aboriginal healing activities—perhaps better thought of as “medicine”—were once much more public and secular than they are now, more
comprehensive, and perhaps even more focussed on “medical” conditions than
on psychosocial distress. This is not to suggest that ritual and spirituality were
not important; rather, it appears as though these therapeutic elements were less
dominant than they are now, as a result of a decline in the treatment of medical
conditions.
We do not need to look too far into the past to find good evidence of the nature
of these medical systems. Vogel (1970) provided an excellent overview which demonstrates both surgical techniques and pharmacological sophistication, the latter
echoed also in the work of Moerman (1986, 1995). As Vogel suggested, there was a
period in the history of colonial North America when Aboriginal medicine was
more readily available and perhaps more effective than that available to colonists
from their own professional, and more frequently lay, treatment providers. Herbal
doctors were particularly valued by Aboriginal and settler alike. There were, of
course, complex systems of sickness etiology at work here, and treatments typically
involved ritual and ceremony, and other therapeutic techniques such as the use of
the sweat lodge. Manual manipulation was also practiced; for instance, bone setting was common, and sucking doctors were often engaged to remove pathologies
from sick bodies. Admittedly some aspects of treatment, often taught matter-offactly from healer to apprentice and, occasionally, shown to non-Aboriginal people
(e.g., Mandelbaum, 1979), were in turn often disparaged by settlers as somewhat
fraudulent, leading to suggestions by observers that shamans and other healers
were charlatans duping their patients; similarly, recourse to spirits in healing was
seen as evidence of heathenism (Waldram, Herring, & Young, 2006). But what
both Aboriginal and settler patients sought was essentially the same—a cure for
their ailments—even if their understanding of the means by which this was attained
differed. Aboriginal healing in this era appears to have been significantly focused
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on restorative or curative processes, that is, the removal of pathology and the
return of the patient to a normalized, presickness condition (Waldram, 2013).
One product of colonialism was that Aboriginal medical systems were placed
under threat by church and government (Waldram et al., 2006). But the target of
these oppressive efforts was not typically the medical or therapeutic aspects, but
rather the ritual and spiritual aspects. Church and government did not set out to
destroy Aboriginal medicine per se; these institutions set out to destroy Aboriginal
spirituality and, more broadly, Aboriginal culture, as part of a program of assimilation. This, of course, is where the reserve system comes in, especially in western
Canada, with the restrictions placed on individual travel to thwart both political
organizing and spiritual promulgation. The residential school system augmented
the reserve system in its assimilationist goals, and the individual abuses that were
suffered there by some of the students are no longer a matter for conjecture and
remain a black mark on the Canadian state’s on-going and turbulent relationship
with Aboriginal peoples (Miller, 1996). Together, church and state forced cultural
changes that proved in many ways irreversible, and set in motion those events and
experiences that have led many to the formulation now under consideration here:
historical trauma.
With the ceremonial aspects of Aboriginal medicine teetering, beginning in the
1960s the federal government began to develop more formal medical services for
Aboriginal people, and especially registered Indians and Inuit (with the Métis being
relegated to the provinces for medical services) (Waldram et al., 2006). Slowly,
nursing and health stations were opened in Aboriginal communities, with doctors
and other specialists often rotating through, and provisions made for patients to
access non-Aboriginal health facilities or to be transported to urban centres for
more sophisticated treatment. Access to pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter
medications increased correspondingly. While this medical system still leaves
much to be desired even today, the point here is that as these services expanded,
there was a continuing decline in the utilization of the traditional Aboriginal medical services. Modern pharmaceuticals came to replace traditional plant medicines,
community nursing stations and clinics became overwhelmed with patient demand,
and hospital-based diagnostic and surgical services became the preferred standard
of care, so much so that unequal and relatively poor access to biomedical services
remains a hot political topic in discussion among Aboriginal and state governments. Aboriginal people today demand—quite rightly—full and equal access to
biomedical services, and not to sucking doctors, because scientifically derived biomedical services are, simply put, better at treating most of the medical conditions
that affect Aboriginal people. Add to these changes the legacy of previous church
and government efforts to assimilate Aboriginal people, and we see a decline in
Aboriginal medical and spiritual expertise to the extent that by the end of the 20th
century there were Aboriginal communities with little or no significant traditional
medical knowledge or spiritual expertise and no practitioners beyond the domestic
sphere (e.g., parents treating sick children with spruce gum for colds while at
traplines).
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Aboriginal medicine did not so much disappear, however, as it transitioned into
what is now known as “healing.” The appeal of healing is its on-going connection
to the past, to its “traditionality,” that is, to an ill-defined era in which Aboriginal
“culture” is assumed to have been intact, integrated, functional, and even therapeutic. In a parallel development, a continental zeitgeist emerged from the 1960s
emphasizing holism and personal spirituality as the means toward health, balance,
and self-fulfillment. Aboriginal, and especially American Indian, philosophy and
knowledge were tapped (at least in theory, …
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