Ceremonies in indigenous communities, a pathway to healing and to the forgotten
Master of Social Work
School for Social Work
Indians of North America-Rites and ceremonies-Psychological aspects, Indians of North America-Mental health, Mental depression-Alternative treatment, Intergenerational relations, Settler colonial trauma, Cross-generational trauma, Indigenous ceremony, Cultural reclamation
Settler colonialism is often cited as the foundation for a myriad of social problems such as psychopathological stress in Indigenous communities. This research study explores how culturally syntonic interventions such as sacred ancestral ceremonies can alleviate acute symptoms of anxiety and depression. The experiences of eleven people of Indigenous heritage who live in the Southwest and had participated in sacred ancestral ceremonies were interviewed in an attempt to better understand the potential healing properties of these ceremonies. The participants all self-reported a reduction in anxiety and depression symptoms as measured before and after participating in the ceremonies.
Vidal, Denis C., ""Without roofs are the houses" : an exploration of ceremonies in indigenous communities, a pathway to healing and to the forgotten" (2017). Masters Thesis, Smith College, Northampton, MA.