Knowledge Resources & Publications

Webinar: What's new is really old: Trauma informed health practices through an understanding of historic trauma

April 2017


Trauma informed health practices are the latest buzz words in the health field. The new is really the old. Teachings of the Elders and the practicing of these teachings have been the saving graces for many Indigenous Nations, amidst the adversity of historic trauma and the resultant complexities of grief and loss and lateral violence.

In this time of reconciliation, many Nations are slowly coming to terms (and actually starting to speak of historic trauma). These topics are not only complex, but at a community level, they’ve contributed to significant pain mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically.

This webinar was presented by Dr. Patricia Makokis, of the University of Alberta, Faculty of Extension, and Dr. Margo Greenwood, of Northern Health and the National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health (NCCAH). Dr. Makokis spoke from a community-based perspective, while Dr. Greenwood spoke to her work within the regional provincial health authority and the NCCAH. Both have worked in the field of community-based health for a number of years.

Webinar goals:

  • Provide participants with a brief overview of pre-contact values and laws;
  • Explore the complexities of historic trauma and lateral violence within communities; and
  • Review current trauma informed health practices.

Speaker Bios

Patricia Makokis is married to Eugene Makokis and they reside on the Saddle Lake Cree Nation in northeastern Alberta. They are parents to adult children, Janice and James Makokis and they are grandparents to Atayoh Kan Asiniy Makokis. Atayoh is the son of Janice and he is 30 months old.

Pat currently works with the University of Alberta in the Faculty of Extension as Indigenous Engagement Research Scholar. Much of her work has been in developing and delivering academic courses that privilege Indigenous knowledge. She prides herself in being a servant leader and working for the People.

Dr. Margo Greenwood, Academic Leader of the National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health (NCCAH), is an Indigenous scholar of Cree ancestry with years of experience focused on the health and well-being of Indigenous children, families and communities. She is Vice-President of Indigenous Health for the Northern Health Authority in British Columbia and Professor in both the First Nations Studies and Education programs at the University of Northern British Columbia. While her academic work crosses disciplines and sectors, she is particularly recognized regionally, provincially, nationally and internationally for her work in early childhood care and education of Indigenous children and public health. Margo has served on numerous national and provincial federations, committees and assemblies, and has undertaken work with UNICEF, the United Nations, and the Canadian Reference Group to the World Health Organization Commission on Social Determinants.

Recommended Readings

Aguiar, W. & Halseth, R. (2015). Aboriginal Peoples and Historic Trauma: The processes of intergenerational transmission. Prince George, BC: National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health.

Bellamy, S. and Hardy, C. (2015). Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Aboriginal People in Canada: Review of risk factors, the current state of knowledge and directions for further research. Prince George, BC: National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health.

Webinar Resources