Date of Award

Spring 3-21-2022

Document Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Melissa Dittberner

Second Advisor

Jamie Turgeon-Drake

Third Advisor

Frank Zavadil


Historical Trauma, Native American Health Disparities, Historical Trauma Response

Subject Categories

Mental and Social Health


The byproducts and motivators of colonialism- namely acquisition of land, pursuit of power, and assimilation of non-dominant cultures- have created a long legacy of historical trauma within the American Indigenous population, who have been at the targets of discrimination and conflict since the onset of European colonization of the Americas. Generations of losses have victimized Native American people and has left them to pick up the pieces of what they lost to colonialism. Researchers and experts in the field have suggested that due to the extensive and unique Historical Trauma experienced by the population has initiated the Historical Trauma Response within survivors and their descendants alive today. One can determine a degree of causality between historical trauma, the historical trauma response, and many of the health disparities affecting Native American reservation communities and populations.



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