A large body of literature explores historical trauma or intergenerational trauma among Aboriginal communities around the globe. This literature connects contemporary forms of social suffering and health inequity to broader historical processes of colonization and the residential school systems in Canada. There are tendencies within this literature, however, to focus on individual pathology and victimization while minimizing notions of resilience or well-being. Through a social constructionist lens, this research examined how interpersonal responses to historical traumas can be intertwined with moments of and strategies for resilience. Detailed narrative interviews occurred with four Aboriginal Cree elders living in central Saskatchewan, Canada, who all experienced historical trauma to some extent. From this analysis, we argue that health research among Aboriginal populations must be sensitive to the complex individual and social realities that necessarily involve both processes of historical and contemporary traumas as well as resilience, strength, and well-being.
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