Psychology, Professional

Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



Consuelo E. Cavalieri, Nancy Hawkins, Antony Stately


The collective experience of colonization shared by American Indians is often referred to as “historical trauma.” Historical trauma is defined as a single or series of events inflicted on a group of people or land who share an exclusive group identity (e.g. religion, tribe, ethnicity, nationality; Evans-Campbell, 2008; Walters et al., 2011). The most detrimental component of historical trauma is the loss of one’s cultural identity. Fortunately, there has been research on effective ways to heal from this feeling of alienation, and models of wellness have been developed to create protective factors. Goodkind et al., (2012) states that there have been effective interventions and ceremonies that have been in place for thousands of years within American Indian communities and that we need to reestablish and implement them with modern day interventions. Reattachment to these traditional values and development of their cultural identity will not only help American Indians heal from historical trauma or unresolved grief, but also help to promote and sustain the wellbeing of the individual and their community. The goal of this project was to create a wellness program based on the seven Dakota values for the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) youth to promote their cultural identity development. The proposed program was a collaborative effort with the SMSC and used a Community Based/Tribally Based Participatory (CBPR/TPR) approach. An SMSC advisory committee guided the development of the rough draft of the program through a questionnaire. The goal of the program is the participants learn about their cultural values and further develop their cultural identity. In so doing, promoting the overall wellbeing of the individual and their community in a culturally resonant way.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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