Positive Effects of Cultural Practice

Contribution by Tracy Kieffer, MBA

The BH2I project is adding cultural programming into your integration approaches, last month we shared the study entitled “The Value of Lakota Traditional Health for Youth Resiliency and Family Functioning” (Freeman, 2016). This month Tracy would like to share a study about using Native Healers perspectives to healing trauma.

Native Americans have a higher risk for developing posttraumatic stress disorder and experience trauma at higher rates compared with the general population. Trauma has many names in Indian Country– historical, intergenerational, childhood to name a few. According to Dr. Maria Yellow Horse Brave Heart, historical trauma is the “cumulative emotional and psychological wounding over one’s lifetime and from generation to generation following loss of lives, land and vital aspects of culture.”

Our lives are impacted by trauma in so many forms, as Native Americans our family ties are close with both our immediate and extended family members, so when trauma is experienced within our family it may affect everyone in some form or another. In the article, “Our Culture Is Medicine”: Perspectives of Native Healers on Posttrauma Recovery Among American Indian and Alaska Native Patients gives rise to the notion that there is a need for improving cultural competence among health care and social services personnel working with Native trauma patients. You can read the full article at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3327107/#!po=3.33333

Bassett, D., Tsosie, U., & Nannauck, S. (2012). “Our Culture is Medicine”: Perspectives of Native healers on Posttrauma Recovery among American Indian and Alaska Native Patients. The Permanente journal, 16(1), 19–27. doi:10.7812/tpp/11-123