At the end of May 2021, the Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc First Nation confirmed that the bodies of 215 Indigenous children were uncovered at the past site of the Kamloops, B.C. Indian Residential School. Although it is critical for all Canadians to know these truths, it unfortunately comes at the re-traumatization of many Indigenous Peoples.
As Indigenous Peoples across the country mourn, mainstream Canada reacts as though this is a terrible one-off historical event. The reality is, however, that over the coming years, thousands of Indigenous children’s bodies will be uncovered at the sites of former residential schools throughout the country. It is critical for all Canadians to know these truths, however it comes at the re-traumatization of many Indigenous Peoples.
In Moving Beyond the Historical: Indigenous Peoples’ Collective Trauma, we will examine the trauma that is unique to Indigenous Peoples, moving from intergenerational and historical trauma to our collective trauma. Questions to be explored from emotional and spiritual perspectives are:
∙ What is collective trauma and where does it come from?
∙ What are the impacts of re-traumatization?
∙ How do we manage memories that are triggered from news reports?
∙ How do we take this up with children and youth?
∙ How do we care for ourselves and others?
∙ How can we collectively gain strength from politicizing our trauma?
This session has been designed for Indigenous people dealing with the impact and Indigenous and non-Indigenous people working with survivors and their families. It will also be useful for teachers working in schools with Indigenous children and youth to learn what to say and how to provide support.