Theoretical Approaches to Disrupting Historical Trauma Among Two-Spirit and Indigenous LGBTQ+ Elders




two spirit, queer, historical trauma, Indigenous wholistic theory, health disparities, elders, aging, culturally responsive methods


Introduction: Indigenous holistic theory (IHT) is a multi-faceted framework grounded in traditional cultural knowledge that emphasizes Indigenous world views, cultures, and traditions with a focus on the spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical elements of health and wellness (Absolon, 2010). Objective: To describe the role of historical trauma and health-related behaviours among Two-Spirit and Indigenous lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (2S/LGBTQ+) Elders and how the emergence of IHT and its guiding constructs could work to inform culturally responsive interventions for the study population. Method: IHT constructs were applied to historical trauma intervention tailoring among Indigenous 2S/LGBTQ+ Elders, including a relevant theoretical model. Results: Applying the IHT framework to Indigenous 2S/LGBTQ+ Elder interventions could be an effective pathway for understanding the population while helping to inform more culturally responsive health promotion efforts that will lead to wellness in later life. Discussion/Conclusion: The paper concludes with a discussion of how IHT helps to advance our knowledge about addressing historical trauma most responsively, along with future research recommendations.


Author Biographies

Chase Bryer, Brown University

Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences

Autumn Asher BlackDeer, University of Denver

Graduate School of Social Work

Braveheart Gillani, Case Western Reserve University

Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences

Jordan P Lewis, University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth campus

Memory Keepers Medical Discovery Team


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