The Legacy Project: Resources and Information on Intergenerational Trauma and Trauma-Informed Practice
Canada and the United States are not very good at helping people heal from traumatic experiences. Like all colonial societies, they function on a “pull up your bootstraps” mentality that emphasizes individual responsibility and achievement. In this model, people succeed only through their own efforts or abilities, and individuals are expected to recover from a setback without any outside help. In reality, recovering from trauma requires a survivor to build relationships, cultivate safety, undergo a process of remembrance and mourning, reconnect with other people and with the natural world, and overcome their feelings of isolation by discovering commonality with others. This process is relational — and it requires a collective undertaking among people and within systems.
This website contains information that explains how historic experiences of colonization and the continued attitudes and practices of colonialism are tied to intergenerational trauma in Indigenous peoples and communities. If you are a survivor, this site will help you develop self-awareness around what you are thinking and feeling. If you work with people, it will help you build a trauma-informed practice. If you work in an institution, this site will help you understand the need for systemic and institutional change.
What do you want your legacy to be?
Who is this website for?
Practitioners and professionals
Other colonized peoples
Anyone interested in reconciliation
Effects of Colonization on Indigenous Communities
Together, we can build an inclusive and equitable Canada
Together, we can heal our nations
Colonization and Intergenerational Trauma
“The government set out on a deliberate attempt to undermine the very existence of Indigenous communities and undermine the very nature of Indigenous families within society.” Senator Murray Sinclair
The unresolved terror, anger, grief, and loss created by colonization has had negative effects on Indigenous health and well-being.
To achieve healing, the systems and institutions of the dominant society must act as allies instead of instruments of colonial control.
Stories exist as they happen, then spiral off from a common root to become part of the lives of subsequent generations.
Why does this website have dragonflies on it?
Dragonflies begin their lives as swimmers in water and transform into winged creatures of the sky. This is a powerful reminder of how we all must grow and change. Dragonflies are nimble flyers who are able to twist, turn, and change direction, and they fly in the six directions of the medicine wheel: forward, backward, and sideways in the four cardinal directions, plus up (sky) and down (earth). This agility is key to their survival. The dragonfly’s four large wings also represent the four directions. Like humans at the centre of the medicine wheel, dragonflies see in 360 degrees. This gives them the ability to see beyond the limitations of self.