Indian Country 52 #19 – PTSD Epidemic
“In 2008, Good Feather founded the Lakota Way Healing Center to combat PTSD, addiction, and depression through Lakota methods. Informed by traditional medicine’s more holistic view of body and mind, it incorporates drumming, singing, storytelling, dancing, and ritual in sacred spaces into its treatment.
And it is sorely needed: American Indian and Alaska Native people serve in the military at higher rates than other groups, with roughly 140,000 veterans and some 22,000 active-duty members making up 8% of the adult native population.
Yet a far higher percentage of native veterans suffer from disabilities, lack health insurance, and are unemployed than veterans in other racial categories. Of those who fought in Vietnam, 22-25% of native veterans experienced PTSD (compared with 14% of their white counterparts). The number rose to an astounding 60% for Lakota veterans.”
– Fusion, The War Is Here, Too: How Native Veterans Are Combating a PTSD Epidemic.
“Today, a vast majority of American Indian and Alaska Native children live in communities
with alarmingly high rates of poverty, homelessness, drug abuse, alcoholism, suicide, and
victimization. Domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse are widespread. Continual
exposure to violence has a devastating impact on child development and can have a
lasting impact on basic cognitive, emotional, and neurological functions. We cannot stand
by and watch these children—who are the future of American Indian and Alaska Native
communities—destroyed by relentless violence and trauma. This Advisory Committee was
charged by U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. with examining these issues and making
recommendations for change that will heal and protect American Indian and Alaska Native
children and foster environments in which they can thrive and develop to their full potential.
Over the course of several months, this Advisory Committee listened to hours of testimony
about the trauma and suffering endured by our Native people—past and present. We heard
story after story of abuse, loss, and tragedy. We heard about the legacy of historical trauma
caused by loss of home, land, culture, and language and the subsequent abuse of generations
of Native children in American boarding schools. We heard that, through a tragic history of
broken promises and chronic underfunding, our country has failed to meet its trust obligations
to Native Americans and their children. ”
– Attorney General, Ending Violence to Children can Thrive.
Download the 18″x24″ poster (.pdf), Indian Country 52 #19 – PTSD Epidemic.
Indian Country 52
Indian Country 52 is a weekly project by David Bernie that uses the medium of posters that promote issues and stories in Indian Country. Follow the series: Indian Country 52
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