Thursday, November 29, 2007

Healing trauma, boarding schools and wounded generations

A Painful Remembrance
by Mary Annette Pember

Nov 28, 2007, 12:53

Dr. Eulynda J. Toledo founded the Boarding School Healing Project to shed light on the long-lasting effects that some religious and Bureau of Indian Affairs schools have had on American Indian communities and families.Many in Indian country have expressed that the trauma from the boarding school experience continues to terrorize the hearts of American Indians. Although much has been written about this history that looms so large in the North American indigenous experience, it remains an obscure topic in mainstream America.

Dr. Eulynda J. Toledo, a member of the DinĂ© tribe and project director of a grant from the National Institute for Disability Research and Rehabilitation, is working to bring attention to the “intergenerational trauma” of the boarding school era through the recently founded Boarding School Healing Project. Toledo and her colleagues maintain that many of the social ills plaguing current generations of American Indians, including sexual abuse, child abuse, violence towards women and substance abuse can be traced to the generations of abuse experienced at Indian boarding schools. Toledo describes intergenerational trauma as post-traumatic stress disorder that has been passed down through generations.
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