Kim Haxton in Calgary

Sept 25, 2018— Calgary, AB: IndigenEYEZ co-founder and visionary Kim Haxton was recently interviewed by Anya Zoledziowski from the StarMetro in Calgary.

The StarMetro talked to Kim, as well as Meaghan Farquharson, a Calgary-based psychologist who specializes in trauma recovery, about mental health support for Indigenous mothers and mothers-to-be to heal from intergenerational trauma. Highlights are posted here with a link to the full article below.

According to Haxton, complex trauma traps people in a cycle that is passed from generation to generation unless individuals have opportunities to heal.

“Emotional trauma and physical trauma are carried through our body on a cellular level,” Haxton said. “When we speak about healing the wound of our ancestors, it’s a very literal thing. It’s not just a concept.”

Professionals like Haxton emphasize cultural-specific approaches to counselling in Indigenous communities, often incorporating Indigenous spirituality, traditions and practices to heal trauma.

Meaghan Farquharson, a Calgary-based psychologist who specializes in trauma recovery, has worked with Indigenous mothers-to-be to curb intergenerational trauma.

“Fields like epigenetics now are showing how our experiences, and the ones of our ancestors, can alter the expression of genes in the brain,” she said. “Studies are showing more and more that things like abuse, loss and traumatic events that have happened in a family can also continue down ancestral lines if they go unresolved.”

“We know that after meditation, slowing down, singing and dancing, going for a walk in the mountains, you feel revitalized — those are the pieces that we’ve forgotten,” Haxton said.

Haxton listed five healing practices that she turns to when supporting mothers-to-be and new mothers overcoming intergenerational trauma: singing, dancing, storytelling, prayer and meditation, and connecting to nature.

You can read StarMetro story, “Front-line workers draw on tradition to help Indigenous mothers heal from intergenerational trauma” by Anya Zoledziowski , here:

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I loved the workshop! It was very powerful and a whole lot of fun. I felt safe and really heard. I have done a lot of healing work already, but this process took it to a whole other level. I was authentically expressing myself in front of other Indigenous people who totally understood my pain; it was very validating to say the least. I made good connections and I look forward to the next module!!

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