Year: 2022 Source: Journal of Aboriginal Health. (2009). 5(3), 48-99. SIEC No: 20220936
The idea of "disrupted attachments" speaks to the multiple levels on which the historic and contemporary assaults on Aboriginal peoples in Canada have resonated. Not only have the policies of colonialism expressly aimed to sever the attachment of Canada's First Nations to their land, customs, culture, modes of self-governance, languages and ways of life, but the traumatic impact of these disrupted attachments have reverberated through both the communities and through the individual lives of Aboriginal peoples in this country. The relatively new and more expansive conceptualization of "complex trauma" in the mental health field has, as one of its core and defining features, alterations in relationships with one's sense of self, as well as alterations to relationships with others. We reframe the idea of "alterations" in relationships to that of "harms" to relationships to self and others, and situate these harms within the insights of attachment theory. These harms to relationships can be usefully conceptualized as "disrupted attachments." In this way then, the idea of "disrupted attachment" eloquently speaks to the myriad and fundamental ways in which the individuals and the communities comprising the Aboriginal peoples in Canada have been traumatized.