Martha Straus, PhD recently presented on Adolescent Girls in Crisis/Treating Complex Trauma in Adolescents and Families in Kenora, Ontario. Dr. Straus spent two days with about 200 people who work with First Nation youth within a 900-mile radius of Kenora.
First Nation youth are the offspring of aboriginal people who have been placed in residential schools for generations and suffer rampant complex trauma, unfathomable levels of violence, including staggeringly high suicide rates, substance abuse, poverty, and pervasive hopelessness.
Dr. Straus noted that the kids growing up on isolated reservations are contending with the denigration of their language, culture, spirituality, history, families, communities, intelligence, and potential in life. At her workshop, a tribal elder gave a blessing and spoke hopefully about healing traditions.