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Historical Trauma and Generational Trauma: Significance and Response (Lessons from the Field: Traumatic Stress Series)

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Date Developed: 10/18/2012. Source: University of Minnesota Extension, Children, Youth & Family Consortium. Presenter(s): Atum Azzahir; BraVada Garrett-Akinsanya, PhD; Jessica Gourneau; Melissa Walls, PhD . Type: Webinar Archive. Level: Intermediate. Length: Series; various lengths.


This training discusses the historical and generational trauma from the perspective of American Indians and African Americans and builds on Dr. Karina Walter’s presentation (see Historical Trauma, Microaggressions, and Identity: A Framework for Culturally-Based Practice). A panel of community and university professionals discuss cultural ways of knowing, how healing and wellness take place within families and communities, and where the science of historical and intergenerational trauma currently exists. The training consists of a video (74 minutes) and presentation notes by each author.

This Lesson from the Field aims to facilitate professionals’ use of a broad and inclusive lens in their work with children, youth, and families impacted by historical and generational trauma to restore and promote cultural identity and promote healing and wellness.

Learning Objectives

• Understand approaches to historical and generational trauma from community, science, and historical perspectives.

• Define a theory of “sickness” and the impact of loss of culture and community on individual health and healing.

• Identify the impact of historical and intergenerational trauma on communities, families, and individuals.

• Incorporate cultural ways of knowing and healing for individuals, families, and communities.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UE8MC25742; MCH Navigator for $225,000/year. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.