What is Historical Trauma?



How is historical trauma distinct from other types of trauma?
What is the relationship between historical trauma and colonialism?
How has historical trauma manifested in Canada, or in your own community?


  • Select one group that has experienced historical trauma and do a deeper dive into the implications for that group today.
  • Research or think about how that particular community has experienced historical trauma, and how reconnecting to cultural practices can help families and communities heal.
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  • I was born and spent the first 30 years of my life in Europe living in the shadow of the post second world war and holocaust reality. I was particularly touched by the writings of Primo Levi an Italian Jewish Auschwitz survivor. When I cam to Canada and worked at Baycrest Hospital I had the privilege to meet many holocaust survivors and their families and see the huge range of emotions and trauma that affected many people in many different ways I grew to understand everyone’s journey is different it is how the whole of society affected and how to create safe spaces for the future that we truly apply the lessons learned from these events that leads to true healing.

  • Interesting concept. I guess some of the historical traumas are those horrible historical events which impacted many people’s lives such as cultural revolution.

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