Giving voice to historical trauma through storytelling: The impact of boarding school experience on American Indians
Abstract: This study documented events contributing to historical trauma among American Indian mission boarding school survivors using the Dream Catcher-Medicine Wheel (DCMW) model as a culturally appropriate tool that enhanced storytelling. Nine women from 2 Plains Indians tribes were recruited through snowball sampling. A descriptive exploratory qualitative method was used in the study. A thematic analysis process using the DCMW was combined with taped and written storytelling sessions. Inductive analysis was applied to the 2 research questions. Data analysis identified 3 major themes. First, unable to voice mission boarding school experiences for most of their adult lives, each affirmed the rediscovery of Native spirituality as empowering. Second, all expressed appreciation for traditional methods woven into storytelling sessions, particularly the DCMW. Finally, all indicated they experienced release and healing through telling their stories. Participants struggle to resolve health challenges to this day.
Charbonneau-Dahlen, B.K., Lowe, J., & Morris, S.L. (2016). Giving voice to historical trauma through storytelling: The impact of boarding school experience on American Indians. Journal Of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 25(6), 598-617. doi:10.1080/10926771.2016.1157843