Understanding Historical Trauma: How American Indian Communities Are Changing the Legacy

January 20th, 2017

7:15am: Check-in, Coffee/tea
7:30-9:45am: Featured Program


Elicia Goodsoldier Co-Chair, Denver American Indian CommissionHost: Kris Abrams

About The Presentation

In this session, participants will gain an understanding of the concept of Historical and Intergenerational Trauma in American Indian communities. We will take a look at how our nation’s history of federal policies has shaped the lives of American Indians, with a more detailed focus on the boarding school experience. Through this history, we will see why American Indian communities have higher rates of suicide, alcoholism and violence than the rest of the country. This will be followed by a discussion of the implications in mitigating the post traumatic response. This will include how American Indian communities are addressing historical trauma utilizing cultural and spiritual practices. We will also explore what we can do to create change and heal from the past. It is important for us to have an understanding of the past and how trauma and its effects can be passed from one generation to the next. Until we are able to understand and heal, we will be unable to change the legacy.

About the Presenter

Elicia Goodsoldier is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation and also belongs to the Spirit Lake Dakota tribe. She Co-Chairs the Denver American Indian Commission and recently completed an appointment to the Governor’s Commission to Study American Indian Representations in Public Schools. She is a board member of the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition and sits on the Cultural Competency Advisory Council for the Colorado Department of Human Services, Division of Behavioral Health. She is the program coordinator for PERL (People Engaged in Raising Leaders), a program under the Community Action Programs, Boulder County.

Additional Resources

Power Point Slides from Elicia’s presentation
Part One
Part Two

1/19/17 KGNU Radio INTERVIEW (25 minutes)

6 thoughts on “Understanding Historical Trauma: How American Indian Communities Are Changing the Legacy

  1. Elicia,

    This is Dwayne Jones AKA Ovadia.
    I would love to attend your presentation, however I am out of town with family for a wedding in Tucson. Rivka Mills, Naropa student, is a good friend. She will attend. I will spread the word to others. Thanks again !


  2. Thank you so much for offering this presentation. It was enlightening. I look forward to your posting of Elicia’s Powerpoints. Thank you Elicia; thank you Interface.


    Alexis LaBarge

  3. Elicia,

    I am working on my dissertation and I would like to use your powerpoint as a reference. When I try to download, it says I do not have permission to save. Is there anyway I can get a copy of this document. My dissertation is on the impact of trauma on education outcomes in Native American students. I am linking current trauma with historical trauma in my literature review. Please let me know.

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