Healing

Healing in American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) communities often refers to the process of increasing resiliency, curing physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental trauma, and promoting well being and healthy living. Historical trauma, intergenerational historical trauma, soul wounds, and post-traumatic stress disorder negatively impact AIAN individuals, families, and communities. Part of the healing process is understanding the root causes of trauma. Often these impacts stem from the legacy of colonization.

Talking Circles, reframing of problems in terms of spirit, and reconnecting relationships to land are some of the ways AIAN communities are practicing healing. Building positive responses boosts individuals, families, and communities strength in the face of physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental trauma.

“Folks realize that it takes generations of historical trauma to heal before we move forward….The learning, the preserving, the strengthening, revitalization of our language.”

“It’s important to also hear those stories, face them, tell those stories because we can’t move past something that we’re stuck in. Those stories have to be told, they have to be acknowledged and that’s something that’s part of the healing process: acceptance, forgiveness and acceptance are huge. And that’s where a lot of my strength comes from.”

“Nuimanigiksuq tusaakkapku taapkua uqaluit, kasigupkusuli, uqautilluatalugi uqaqtiḷaaŋnik atakii nuunŋikaŋitchugut tamatkua kinatchigmiñ. Taapkua quliaqtuat unipkaaqtilugi, iḷisaqqutiksralugit quliaqtuaqsrat, aasiisuli munagisiruptauq sivunmitilugu:  akuqtuagnikkun, tamaktuak akuqtuagnikkun suliqutigiŋaiģutikkunlu aŋiłhaaqtuq nuimasuqhuni. Tamaktuniŋa suaŋŋaqtiqaqtusrauruŋa suaŋŋanmiñ.”

“I’ve always had the blessings of being able to go out on the lands and waters for time to heal and that’s always important to give you the renewal to keep going with the issues that we face. I’ve always had the gift of people sharing good foods from our lands and waters and consuming them with our families is also very important for the healing because there are some battles we win in protecting our lands and waters, and there are many more that we lose. But if we share the blessings of the harvest within the generations, the desire to bring that continued life occurs across generations.”

“Aullaaqasuugman nunagmun tagiugmunaglaan munagiksipiallakkiga munaksrauruq uvagut kasuguptigu siģģagnakhutik, anniqsuusiagiksuq. Tamatkuniŋa iñuich aviktuagisuugai nunagmiñ taģiugmiñlu niqiksraŋnik aitchuqtiḷaaŋa aasii nigipmatigut suli iḷauratkun munaksrauruqsuli, qanuqsuli aŋuyaktigisiruq akimapkasuugaatigut, aglaan piiyaqsigugaatigut. Atakii, aviktuagisuvlugut niqiksravut tutaalumnun allanunlu kiŋuģaaģiimnun, kimiñaqtisuvluni aitchuqsuugniagai iñulluatamiñik nunapauyaranmun kiŋuģaaģiimnunlu.”

“Cause right now I think we’re in a state where we still, we’re still functioning through colonized brains and minds. That to me, is real critical and at this point in our history, I think we’re moving towards getting beyond that hump through acknowledgement of our past, of our history, through acknowledging that we indeed have the answers within ourselves and can make decisions on our own rather than thinking in terms of, through the lenses of dependence on the government, or whoever, in order to be able to function as communities, as a society. Yeah, and it’s not necessarily a men or a women thing, it’s a people thing.”

“Akkupak iñuusumatigut tanikhuni, isumatigut taniktun savagutirugut. Uvamnunaglaan nuimanasuktuq akkupaglaan iñuusuvluni, sivunmusirugut puviqsunmik piḷuutaiñik akisurugut inilluatamiñun suli inilluatagiksut kiiqsiqsraurugut iḷimiñun aasii naligaqtilluta uvamnun pianikkaatigut, atanauratchuminaitkikput naligagmata, tallignigumiñiaŋikput atanauraqput, allanunmunaglaan, aglaan uvaguliasii savakkumiñaqłuta nunaaqqiqput. Tavra, aģnagumiñaitkaa, aŋutimiñaitkaaptauq, iñuich suuragusiruq. Tavrapiallak, utuqqanaavut iḷisimmapiagataqtut unnuisurut. Iḷitchumiñaitchut nutaqqamnun taavruma aḷgaqsruutimnik. Qiksikratiqaģñiq Utuqqanaavut. Taapkuasrat utuqqunaam atanniuģitigun, suaŋŋałhaaqtuq taniktugmiñaglaan. Iñuulluatagmatigut tainna nakuuruq.”

“The value of our way of life is going to be a mainstay for the generations to come, regardless of what happens. The unity it gives to each village is beyond many, many places in the world and it’s not something that can come from anywhere. It has to come from us.”

“Iḷitqusivut kiŋuviigmuliasii maaniinniaqtuq, suŋitchugman ittuq. Atautchimukkapta nunaaqinni aitchuqsiraŋa itqaummaqpaktuq nunaqpagmi suli qaitkigniaŋitchuq allanugmiñ. Uvanmun ittuqsraurugmiñ.”

“Folks realize that it takes generations of historical trauma to heal before we move forward….The learning, the preserving, the strengthening, revitalization of our language.”

“Qauriŋagaluaqtut iḷisimagaluaqtut iñuich taavrumuna kiŋuģaaģiitiqaqtuq ikayusuvluni piḷuktuamiñ munaqsigivluta sivulliugivlutalu. Munaqsigivluta innavsaaq piḷuktuamiñ, uqautilluagiksuqapta taaŋagmik, tuqquvlumiglu, naagga uqautilluagiqqagluta munaksigivluta piḷuktuagmiñaglaan. Iḷisagvikkun, iñuuttuvluta paisavut, suaŋŋagnikkunlu, aasii uqausivut iluaqsigivlutalu.”

“My strength comes from my values, the Iñupiaq values. Strength comes from just the people and history because it really hurts to see how people, our people, went through in the past and how it affects what is going on today. And it seems like we’ve been stuck on this for a really long time, it motivates me to learn about the history of our people and what they went through and their experiences because they made so many sacrifices for us to ensure that we’re here today.”

“Iḷitqusiavut suaŋŋaqtilaaŋa
suaŋŋaqtuksrauruŋa iḷitqusivugmiñ. Iñuŋmiñ HISTORYMINLU suaŋŋatiksraumman atakii araa tautukkikput qanuq iñuum, Iñupiaguum, iñuusughutiŋ aippaanigman aasii iluaqsiñaqsukpa paŋmapagmunaglaan. Nuunniaŋitchugut sivunmiñaŋitchugut, akkupaglaan iḷitchipiallagiksuŋa Iñupiavutkunnii inillaaniŋaruamik aasiisuli qanugli aitchuunisraurut iñuich iñulluatanigman iñulluatimunaasii uvagut tainna qaunaksriŋaruat uvagunmun. Annignaqsuli taamna, nagliñŋaghuniḷu, allaŋugasuugaaŋa. Qanuq iḷitchisuvluni ikayusivluŋa qanuq isumagitkiga iñuktaqtigusuŋitchuŋa iḷaani.”