Year: 2013 Source: Native Social Work Journal.(2007).6:11-32. SIEC No: 20130879

Residential school abuse and its intergenerational effects have created devastating impacts on entire Aboriginal communities. Much has been written about the history and experiences of Aboriginal people who attended residential schools, including the impacts on individuals, families, communities and nations. The purpose of this literature review was to examine the area of healing from residential school abuse and intergenerational effects. Important to this exploration was a focus on Aboriginal healing methods. It was found that only a small amount of literature exists in the area of appropriate and effective therapeutic or healing strategies for dealing with residential school abuse. Further, the Canadian residential school system is only one of many forms of oppressive measures that have impacted upon Aboriginal peoples. Therefore it is difficult to separate what form of oppression has caused which impacts. These various forms of oppression exacerbate and intensify each other. Further, rather than tracing the cause of present social conditions of Aboriginal people down to residential schools, most researchers broaden their scope of oppression, going beyond residential schools alone. This paper explores how Aboriginal communities are using Aboriginal healing methods to deal with oppression, colonization and its resulting social conditions, and demonstrates how the emerging body of literature is clearly relevant to our understanding of healing from residential school abuse and its intergenerational effects.

Contact us for a copy of this article, or view online at