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Briefing paper

This issues paper has been developed from two research programmes ‘He Kokonga Whare: Māori Intergenerational Trauma and Healing’ and ‘He Waka Eke Noa: Māori Cultural Frameworks for Violence Prevention and Intervention.’ As part of a wider family violence programme of work these projects focus broadly on historical trauma, the intergenerational impact of whānau and sexual violence on Māori, and healing pathways. As an expanding discipline, historical trauma theory encourages the development of understandings and healing frameworks that are cognisant of collective and historical indigenous experience, particularly in regard to colonisation and its impact. Such frameworks provide the context and starting place for identification of the pathways that will support recovery and healing.

This paper aims to:

  • Introduce some traditional practices related to whānau wellbeing
  • Present definitions of historical trauma as understood by Indigenous scholars
  • Discuss the intersection of colonisation and historical trauma
  • Show connection between colonisation and historical trauma
  • Provide an overview of a range of ways in which historical trauma is understood to impact upon Māori whānau, hapū and iwi in relation to whānau violence
  • Discuss some barriers that affect Māori and Indigenous approaches to historical trauma
  • Give examples of Māori approaches that can help to heal historical trauma and whānau violence
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Issues Paper 15