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WORKSHOP: “Healing Historical Trauma in Native America and the US – operationalizing from Rocks, Karma, Arrows”

IPI will be at the National Association of Community and Restorative Justice conference in June. One of our workshops at the conference will be using a a performance “Rocks, Karma, Arrows” from a local theater group to address the following objectives:

  1. Basic understanding of historical federal policy shifts toward Indigenous nations of the United States; historical context of Rocks, Karma, & Arrows.
  2. Impacts in Native American populations resulting from federal policies, as alluded to in Rocks, Karma, & Arrows.
  3. Applicability of Adverse Childhood Experiences and Protective factors research for healing from traumas of federal policy, with a focus on children in need of care and juvenile offenses.

As the Pre-Conference performance of Rocks Karma & Arrows reveals, United States federal Indian policy over the centuries has created sociological conditions that result in high incidences of trauma and other adverse experiences with wide-ranging impact. This presentation will summarize those federal policy shifts, which tend to vacillate between lassiez-faire and cultural genocide, and the resulting impacts. Then, utilizing the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) framework as a common method to estimate and discuss potential negatively charged events that may be experienced in childhood.

Conventional approaches in juvenile and family courts can, and too frequently do, add to the cumulative trauma and ACE burdens these children already bear.  This presentation will discuss alternative perspectives, approaches, and processes that can turn this tendency around 180 degrees, towards healing.

Presenters will discuss (1) how traditional indigenous practices can foster healing and spark resilience factor development instead; (2) deeper roots of native understanding of the problems that present themselves in the family and juvenile courts context; (3) models of success at shifting towards a more healing approach; and (4) what allies can do to support healing.

Brett Lee Shelton and Sheldon Spotted Elk will be the workshop presenters.