Marlene Brant Castellano

From Healing to Reconciliation
The Aboriginal Healing Foundation (AHF), looking to the future in the final report of its first mandate, identified healing as one component of a continuum leading to reconciliation between Aboriginal peoples and Canadian society.1 Drawing on the Law Commission of Canada report Restoring Dignity: Responding to Child Abuse in Canadian Institutions,2 the AHF framed the components of residential school resolution in the quartered circle of a medicine wheel, a figure widely used in First Nations teaching circles.

Figure 1

Figure 1: Components of Residential School resolution

The steps proposed for resolution were: acknowledgement, naming the harmful acts and admitting that they were wrong; redress, taking action to compensate for harms inflicted; healing, restoring physical, mental, social/emotional, and spiritual balance in individuals, families, communities, and nations; and reconciliation, accepting one another following injurious acts or periods of conflict and developing mutual trust. Reconciliation involves perpetrators asking for and victims offering forgiveness, as they acknowledge and accept the past and recognize the humanity of one another. When violations involve segments of the same society who are destined to go on living together, the goal of reconciliation raises the large issue of relationship between peoples and the establishment or re-establishment of dignity and mutual respect.3

The stages en route to reconciliation have been studied following political conflicts involving massive violations of human rights and in diversion projects with individual offenders and their victims. Peacemaking or restorative justice initiatives, from which we draw the definitions of reconciliation and the methods to achieve it, begin with a recognition that harm has been done, that some fundamental value of society has been violated that demands a corrective response.

Reconciliation in the context of Indian residential schools presents some unique challenges. Consensus that residential school experience was injurious in itself, and not just in instances of physical and sexual abuse, is shared by only a small proportion of Canadian citizens, in contrast to the view of most First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people. Multiple violations of the human dignity of Aboriginal peoples over generations and their relative powerlessness in the face of public institutions have created distrust that public dialogue can bring about change. Past experience in peacemaking and restorative justice provides tools for bringing parties together to engage in dialogue, but the chemistry that transforms encounter into mutual, hopeful engagement remains mysterious.

A central teaching of First Nation Elders is that everything is related. This wisdom is sometimes represented visually by locating individuals at the centre of a set of concentric circles that ripple outward to include family, community, nation, and the natural world.

The notion is not that human beings are at the centre of the universe but that our lives are nested in complex relationships. Our words, actions, and even our thoughts have wide-reaching, timeless impacts that cannot be discerned by our physical senses. Conversely, our lives are impacted by forces and events in the larger world, whose origins and intentions are often beyond our knowledge or understanding. To navigate successfully in such a complex environment requires more than physical, emotional, and intellectual competence. Achieving good life, long life, called pimatziwin in Anishinaabe tradition, requires spiritual awareness as well. Thus, another central teaching is that life must be lived holistically—balancing body, mind, feelings, and spirit.

Figure 2

Figure 2: Everything is Related

This paper takes a cue from teachings that all of life is related and that principles for achieving a holistic balance are transferable from one domain to another. We turn to research and analysis conducted by the Aboriginal Healing Foundation to explore how insights into the processes of healing from residential school trauma can guide efforts to promote the openness and trust required for reconciliation. We look for ways of moving around the medicine wheel, from healing to reconciliation.

Final Report of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation

The Aboriginal Healing Foundation (AHF) was created in 1998 to administer a one-time healing grant of $350 million from the federal government to support community initiatives to heal the legacy of physical and sexual abuse in residential schools, including intergenerational impacts. An additional allocation of $40 million was made by the federal government in 2005 and, under the terms of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement implemented in September 2007, the AHF mandate will be renewed with a further grant of $125 million over five years.

Figure 3

Figure 3: Holistic Balance

In January 2006, the AHF released the Final Report of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation on its first mandate, 1998–2005, reporting on administration of the healing fund and impacts of projects. Data for the Final Report were collected through a review of project files, three national mail-out surveys (2000, 2002, 2004), telephone interviews with AHF Board members and personnel, five national focus groups, thirteen in-depth case studies, and 1,479 individual participant questionnaires that captured information about individuals’ experiences in the therapeutic healing process. Twenty-seven research studies were commissioned and a questionnaire on promising healing practices was distributed to 439 projects in October 2002, yielding 103 detailed responses.

Community initiative was the guiding force in establishing the program of the AHF, in refining its administrative approaches, and in shaping projects at local and regional levels. The AHF did not prescribe the n ature of healing activities that could be funded. The basic criterion for approval was that the proposal had to relate to physical or sexual abuse in residential schools or intergenerational impacts of such treatment. Beyond that, projects were required to demonstrate community support and reasonable prospects of achieving their goals through a project work plan and appropriate personnel. Calls for proposals generated 4,612 submissions, resulting in 1,346 contribution agreements with 725 distinct organizations and communities.

Projects set a priority on involving Survivors and employing Aboriginal persons, with the result that ninety-one per cent of project staff were Aboriginal and, of these, thirty-two per cent were Survivors. Staff effort was supplemented by volunteers who were contributing an estimated thirteen thousand service hours per month in 2001. The array of problems confronting Aboriginal communities in health, education, and economic development are often perceived to be beyond the reach of ordinary community members to solve. Many of them seem to lie in the domain of professionals such as teachers, nurses, and managers. The high level of community engagement in AHF-funded projects demonstrates that healing the legacy of residential schools is an enterprise that Aboriginal community members care about intensely and about which they believe they can do something.

The AHF Board initially wished to gather data on social indicators, such as rates of physical and sexual abuse, children in care, incarceration, and suicide to track changes brought about by funded interventions. It quickly became evident that this would not be possible in the limited lifetime of AHF-funded projects. Regional and provincial data in the public domain are not sufficiently sensitive to reflect changes in small populations, and it typically takes several years for local changes to be reflected statistically. Further, communities defined healing needs and initiatives in widely diverse ways, starting their healing journey from different places, with different levels of resources and planning expertise.

The evaluation approach adopted was to look for evidence of individual progress along a healing continuum and increased capacity of communities to facilitate that progress. Research results reveal the multiple layers of trauma laid down in the lives of Aboriginal peoples over generations and the path traversed by individuals and communities in recovering capacity for a good life.

Historic Trauma

The healing needs uncovered in the course of funded projects and analyzed in AHF research make it clear that one-on-one therapies delivered by mental health professionals are by themselves inadequate to respond to the pervasiveness and depth of trauma that reverberates through many communities. Aboriginal communities have suffered repeated shocks from epidemics, territorial displacement, and loss of control over their lives. Loss of children to residential schools laid down another layer of trauma and its distorting effects. When children returned from residential school lacking language and relationships and practical skills to reintegrate into the community, the capacity of extended families to support recovery from abusive and demeaning experiences was compromised by their own grief over multiple losses.

An emerging theory of complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)4 has made a useful contribution to understanding effects on individuals of prolonged victimization such as what occurred in residential schools. Indigenous counsellors and researchers in the United States and Canada have proposed a theory of historic trauma5 to describe the consequences of multiple stressors experienced by whole communities over generations. Images of traumatic events and adaptive or maladaptive responses become imbedded in shared memories of the community and are passed on to successive generations by storytelling, community interaction and communication, patterns of parenting, emotionally laden memories, and inherited predisposition to PTSD. Even if events are not fully remembered, behavioural patterns rooted in collective memory persist in community life, becoming the backdrop for interpreting and responding to current reality.

It is important to note that not all persons who experience trauma suffer disabling effects. Interwoven with collective memories of painful events are shared stories of resistance and survival that demonstrate resilience, the human capacity to achieve a good life outcome in the face of adversity. Reports from community projects funded by the AHF, along with complementary research and analysis, illuminate healing approaches that facilitate release from past trauma and reactivate resilience that has been overwhelmed.

Individual Healing

The course of individual healing documented in project reports was seen to progress through four stages, although personal growth does not unfold in a set pattern. Individuals gain insights or establish relationships that generate dramatic change, or they suffer new trauma or setbacks that cause them to retreat to earlier stages of the cycle. The stages of individual healing are represented in Figure 4.

Individuals who have suffered trauma in childhood vary in their ability to integrate their experiences into the narrative of their lives. Reports from project participants confirmed that healing from painful or suppressed memories begins with awareness of barriers to a satisfying life and beginning recognition of the sources. Awareness can develop gradually or be precipitated by a crisis such as a health problem, breakdown of a marriage, or being charged with an offence. Projects typically found that Legacy education about the history and impacts of residential schools and group events that centred on cultural activities supported readiness to engage in therapeutic activities and relationships. In the beginning stage of healing, Survivors need to feel safe. Establishing cultural safety, affirming identities that had been forcibly suppressed, was an important feature of most projects.

Figure 4

Figure 4: Stages of Individual Healing

Survivors’ movement to the second stage of remembrance and mourning what had been lost was supported by sharing their stories in talking circles that fostered relationships and mentoring by Elders. Safety and remembrance paved the way for the third phase, which was often a lengthy period of reconnecting in new or renewed relationships and reclaiming a healthy way of life. The reconnection phase takes time and discipline as well as support and guidance from family and community to establish stability. As personal healing progresses, many Survivors feel motivated to share their emerging vitality with family, friends, and community. The desire and capacity to give something back to the community signals the recovery of resilience and the fourth phase of healing. Some exceptional individuals are asserting that finding the capacity to forgive the perpetrators of abuse is the final liberating stage of personal healing.

The most frequently used interventions in projects were healing/talking circles, Legacy education, workshops, and ceremonies. The activities considered most effective were mentoring by Elders, ceremonies, one-on-one counselling, and healing/talking circles. The promising practices survey indicated that Western therapeutic approaches were employed in fifty-eight per cent of projects, almost always in conjunction with cultural interventions and/or Legacy education. Effectiveness of projects in responding to unmet needs is indicated by evidence from individual questionnaires that two-thirds of participants had not previously participated in healing activities.

The majority of community projects engaged Survivors and those who had been impacted by residential schools as members of the healing team. Survivors who were fluent in their native language, who had a strong sense of cultural identity, and were able to model balance in their own lives were among the most highly valued healers/helpers. It was not unusual for volunteers or members of teams to develop deeper awareness of their own needs, take time out to work on their own healing issues, and subsequently return to the role of helpers. Team support for their members to recognize and work within the limits of their renewed resilience was a feature of effective projects.

Community Healing

The course of community healing revealed in the research was similarly seen to progress through four stages as represented in Figure 5 although they are not in rigid sequence.

Stage one is characterized by a prevailing sense of crisis or paralysis. The majority of the people are locked in destructive behaviours, and there may be an unspoken acceptance by the community that this state is somehow normal. The possibility of a better tomorrow is sparked by a core group that is engaged in personal healing, forming support networks, and seeking help for problems such as addiction. There is a beginning awareness of the legacy of residential schools, increased disclosure of physical and sexual abuse, past and present.

The second stage sees the healing movement gathering momentum. More people are participating in healing activities and volunteering their assistance. There is a growing sense of hope and determination to overcome obstacles of scarce resources and services, lack of trained staff, and continuing denial in the community. People reach out to involve friends and Elders, and the numbers of children at risk are perceived as falling. Referrals from mainstream services to community-based healing initiatives escalate, and healing teams may be inundated with requests to share promising practices.

Figure 5

Figure 5: Stages of Community Healing

Stage three, described in the report of an extensive consultation6 and validated in project reports, is called “hitting the wall.” Visible progress has been made and change is being consolidated in many quarters, but momentum is beginning to stall. Hope and excitement evident in the second stage have dulled, and frontline workers are beginning to burn out. While more adults are pursuing healthy lifestyles, more participants are approaching projects for help with violence, life-threatening addictions, and suicidal tendencies. Previously undisclosed abuses such as gambling, prescription drug use, or youth crime may be revealed in the community. This is the stage at which community healing often falters because of limited economic and institutional infrastructure in small, rural communities or urban neighbourhoods. Some observers note that resistance to the uncertainties generated by social change is often strongest just before significant shifts occur. Sustained, systematic response is required to maintain momentum.

Achieving the transition to stage four, where healthy individuals are functioning in a vibrant community, is possible when community healing initiatives are integrated with other dimensions of community development including education, employment, and economic opportunity. As the AHF funding period was winding down in 2004, only eleven per cent of projects had secured funding to continue operating; seventy-six per cent planned to prepare proposals for funding from other sources; and twelve per cent anticipated closing down their activities. More than half of the projects (55%) planned to maintain self-help and volunteer efforts.

Healing the legacy of residential schooling, whether at the individual or community level, is not a linear process. The stages identified above are only approximate models of complex real-life events. Survivors progress and then circle back on earlier stages when confronted with recurrent challenges. Community change was described as “like ripples unfolding in a pool, where each new circle contains the previous ones.”7

Implications for Reconciliation

While it would be incorrect to assume equivalence in the processes of restoring balance in individuals, communities, and in society at large, similarities are evident when we compare the stages identified at each level, as represented in Figure 6.

At stage one, individuals become aware of the possibility of change in a climate of personal and cultural safety. Communities as collectives begin striving toward wellness as motivated members connect with one another, share their goals, and multiply their impact on their environment. At the societal level, apology delivered by public figures reduces the threat of repeated injury and lessens the distance between injured parties and perpetrators of harm. Words are important as symbols to acknowledge harms inflicted, but they are hollow if the consequences of the harms are left untouched or if a ceremonial apology is not mirrored in the daily interactions between victims and perpetrators.

Participants in class-action lawsuits made it clear that assaults on cultural continuity injured peoples and not just individuals. Reconciliation, in the first instance, is undertaken between Survivors and the governments, churches, and society that permitted violations of life and dignity. The broader, intergenerational effects must also be addressed. Movement toward reconciliation therefore requires that awareness and acknowledgement be experienced at a thousand points of encounter between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people, so that the need for change and the promise of a new relationship ripples through networks of families, communities, and nations.

The second stage of individual healing involves remembering and mourning what has been lost, typically in an environment that provides protection from overwhelming emotions. It seems like a contradiction: experiencing pain that has been dulled by forgetting is often a necessary step to finding within oneself the spark of life that wills a better future. This is the repeated testimony heard not only in AHF projects but also by therapists involved in the treatment of post-traumatic stress. In stage two, at a community level, healing initiatives open the extent of distress to public awareness and, importantly, mobilize community response to cries for help.

Figure 6

Figure 6: Processes in Restoring Balance

At a societal level, redress in the form of restitution or compensation is the active follow-up to awareness and acknowledgement. Survivors often speak of their residential school years as “stolen childhood” that cannot be restored by a monetary payment. The denials of injury, the cautious limitations of public apology, the lengthy and bitter struggles around liability for compensation have constituted serious impediments to reconciliation around residential schooling. The Settlement Agreement now in effect has been welcomed as bringing a conclusion to years of litigation and the anger and distrust that accompanied them. The focus of discourse in the media has been overwhelmingly on the cost of redress to financially hard-pressed churches and to taxpayers and not the cost of abuse to successive generations of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children. If the $1.9 billion payout to some seventy-five thousand or more Survivors is perceived by Canadian society as a costly final solution, if the continuing legacy of colonial relations remains untouched, then reconciliation will remain unfinished business.

Perhaps redress is too much entangled in the minds of the public with monetary compensation to permit a dialogue on what would serve to restore balance from the perspective of Aboriginal people. Or perhaps monetary redress is bringing us closer to reconciliation as it becomes an instrument of healing. Reports in Aboriginal media and Maggie Hodgson’s paper in this publication highlight how Survivors are using compensation payments to improve their houses, pay off debts, and assist their children. Common experience payments, now being delivered to elderly and fragile Survivors and those whose claims are readily validated, offer evidence of the intention of the federal government to move toward reconciliation. Healing funds established by the churches and the work of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation over the past decade have supported individuals in reclaiming connection to a healthy life and communities in mobilizing a response to the needs of their members.

However, reports that describe “hitting the wall” in stage three of community healing are disturbing. This is the stage where the personal effort of a few motivated individuals reaches its limit and the core group reaches out for institutional support. Community-led initiatives to restore balance and vitality to collective life operate on the margins of public programs put in place to support health, education, employment especially for youth, and safety. The AHF Final Report (2006), like the Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (1996),8 is one of a series of reports that have argued that acknowledging and supporting self-determined community initiative is the most promising approach to resolve massive problems of marginalization and dislocation.

The kind of healing that leads to reconciliation between peoples is not solely an Aboriginal need and concern. Canadians and the institutions that represent them in dealings with Aboriginal peoples also need healing from the false assumptions and blind spots that led to the imposition of the residential school system and today perpetuate powerlessness, dependency, and lack of trust.

Now we come to the crux of the reconciliation process: the transition from healing to reconciliation. If individuals, communities, and the sectors of society in need of reconciliation have had an opportunity to engage in acknowledgement, redress, and healing, can we assume that reconciliation will follow spontaneously? My reading of the evidence leads me to believe that the transition from stage three to stage four of both individual and community healing is qualitatively different from the transitions that precede it.

Individuals who have been struggling to repair connections with other persons and their own resilient spirit, at a certain point, declare “I am alive and can do something with this life!” They want to give something back. Their sense of well-being may be fragile and brief, but the experience becomes a milestone for them, and they look back on it as their start on the road to a good life. Community change is more diffuse and less likely to be associated with a specific turning point. Still, those communities that have achieved a degree of cohesion in their efforts to take care of their members, such as Alkali Lake in British Columbia or Hollow Water in Manitoba,9 look back on times of great hardship when extraordinary leaders, both formal and informal, stepped forward to animate and inspire the people.

Aboriginal people often speak of these transformations as a spiritual awakening, becoming aware of a profound connection with the earth and all our relations, seen and unseen, who inhabit this plane of existence. Some Survivors speak of making peace with themselves. Community development workers use the language of empowerment, the discovery by people living in oppressive circumstances of their own inner strength and the effectiveness of collective action. One way of describing the process is recovering agency, the capacity to act and cause things to happen.

The Final Report of the AHF provides some indicators of what facilitates recovery of connection and agency in individuals and communities. For residential school Survivors who were forcibly divested of their language, recovering their language was a profoundly healing experience. For Inuit, going out on the land and engaging in traditional survival and harvesting activities was often key to healing. In Métis projects, people researched their history and found that making contact with their relations was transforming. Women who had been isolated and sometimes abused sat in a quilting circle and shared stories that opened up new awareness of themselves, their past, and their common experiences. Fathers came reluctantly to parenting workshops and discovered how awesome it can be to look at the world through the eyes of a child. Sharing circles and healing circles facilitated by Elders and residential school Survivors created bonds of trust and mutual care. Sometimes, for some people, healing is mediated in a mystical experience that takes place in a ceremonial setting, but it happens also in many ordinary ways.

Looking for common threads in the healing that people often referred to as “spiritual,” it seems that they were talking in different ways of making a connection to something greater than themselves and their individual griefs. The experience that “I am a part of it” was triggered in multiple ways, connecting with the natural world, the stream of history, family and community, or in some cases, with a spiritual Being who is friendly.

Aboriginal individuals and communities have suffered varying degrees of trauma in the residential school experience and other encounters with the institutions of Canadian society. They are at different stages in their recovery of agency and balance and their readiness to engage in reconciliation. Some Aboriginal people are gripped by memories of past trauma; others are apprehensive that if they let down their guard they will be victimized anew. Can the proponents of reconciliation assure these reluctant parties that the universe is indeed friendly? That it is safe to forgive and reach out a hand of friendship? That friendship will even be welcomed?

I would suggest that forgiveness is the key to making the transition from healing, which has elements of need and striving, to reconciliation that affirms trust that former antagonists can enter into relationship. The relationship may not be seen as immediately beneficial, but at least it is not threatening. For parties who have inflicted injury, asking forgiveness requires them to relinquish control of the transaction and the outcome. For parties who have suffered injury, taking the step to reconcile reasserts agency, the capacity to act, and potentially make a difference in spite of uncertainty and risk. Forgiveness releases the perpetrators of injury from the burden of guilt and shame. It also signals the release of the forgiver from anger and resentment rooted in fear and vulnerability.

I underlined earlier in this paper that reconciliation is a mutual undertaking, involving those who have been harmed and those who perpetrated harms, or their proxies in the case of historical injuries. We have a good deal of information on how First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people have been working on coming to peace within their own persons and restoring harmonious relations within their communities. There is less evidence of how peacemaking can be extended to include the Canadian populace at large. Perhaps reconciliation is proceeding in some quarters without public fanfare. National Chief Phil Fontaine, speaking in Ottawa on 29 June 2007, a National Day of Action organized by the Assembly of First Nations, stated that similar peaceful assemblies were being held across Canada and that they represent “a hundred points of hope.”10 The gathering of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in Ottawa alone was reported to have attracted three thousand people, suggesting that there may have been tens of thousands of people across Canada engaged in acts of reconciliation that went unreported by the media, while two sites of angry confrontation received intensive coverage.

Survivor organizations, political leaders, Elders, community activists, churches, governments, and many, many Canadian citizens are affirming that reconciliation can begin now. The challenge for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission will be to engage a broad spectrum of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in Canada to walk together through shared experiences of acknowledgement, redress, and healing to the threshold of reconciliation. The promise of a Canada that is not only peaceable but also just and inclusive is worthy of our unreserved commitment.

Nia:wen. Thank you for your attention.


Marlene Brant Castellano is a Mohawk of the Bay of Quinte Band in Ontario. She has carried diverse responsibilities as a social worker in child and family services, a full-time wife and mother launching four sons into the world, Professor and Chair of Native Studies at Trent University, and Co-Director of Research for the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. She was a member of the founding Board of the Native Mental Health Association of Canada and continues as an honourary lifetime member.

Marlene’s teaching, research, and publications are deliberately bicultural, promoting discourse between the worlds of Aboriginal knowledge and experience and the language and protocols of academics and policy-makers. In recent years, her writing has focused on respectful treatment of Aboriginal knowledge in research. She was researcher and writer for the Final Report of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, Volume 1: A Healing Journey: Reclaiming Wellness (2006) and serves as co-editor for this publication.

Marlene is a Professor Emerita of Trent University and has been honoured with LL.D. degrees from Queen’s, St. Thomas, and Carleton universities, a National Aboriginal Achievement Award, and appointment to the Order of Ontario. In 2005, she was named an Officer of the Order of Canada.

In her article, Marlene draws on the Aboriginal Healing Foundation’s accumulated knowledge of the healing journey to present a holistic approach to reconciliation involving body, mind, feelings, and spirit. She proposes that the process of restoring balance at the societal level—acknowledgement, redress, healing, and reconciliation—follows a path similar to that of individual and community healing. She explores transformative links between stages, suggesting that “forgiveness is the key to making the transition from healing, which has elements of need and striving, to reconciliation that affirms trust that former antagonists can enter into relationship.”

The articulation of this approach makes a significant contribution to the reconciliation dialogue; however, the author acknowledges that without the engagement of all sectors of Canadian society the prospects for progress are dimmed. She concludes by pointing to the challenge facing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, “to engage a broad spectrum of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in Canada to walk together through shared experiences of acknowledgement, redress, and healing to the threshold of reconciliation.”

  1. The Final Report of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation (2006) is comprised of three volumes: Marlene Brant Castellano, Volume I: A Healing Journey: Reclaiming Wellness; Kishk Anaquot Health Research, Volume II: Measuring Progress: Program Evaluation; and Linda Archibald, Volume III: Promising Healing Practices in Aboriginal Communities. Ottawa, ON: Aboriginal Healing Foundation. The final report of the AHF on its first mandate, 1998–2005, was released in 2006.
  2. Law Commission of Canada (2000). Restoring Dignity: Responding to Child Abuse in Canadian Institutions, Ottawa, ON: Minister of Public Works and Government Services.
  3. Castellano (2006:177–179).
  4. Defining symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder are: hyperarousal, being excessively alert, anticipating the next traumatic event, and easily made anxious or angry; flashbacks to the original traumatic event set off by minor triggers; and blunted feelings, which make it difficult to maintain relationships.
  5. For a fuller discussion of historic trauma see: Castellano, Marlene Brant and Linda Archibald (2007: 69–92). Healing Historic Trauma: A Report from the Aboriginal Healing Foundation. In Jerry P. White, Susan Wingert, Dan Beavon, and Paul Maxim (eds.), Aboriginal Policy Research. Moving Forward, Making A Difference, Volume IV. Toronto, ON: Thompson Educational Publishing Inc.; and Wesley-Esquimaux, Cynthia and Magdalena Smolewski (2004). Historic Trauma and Aboriginal Healing. Ottawa , ON: Aboriginal Healing Foundation.
  6. Lane Jr., Phil, Michael Bopp, Judie Bopp, and Julian Norris (2002). Mapping the Healing Journey: The final report of a First Nation Research Project on Healing in Canadian Aboriginal Communities. Ottawa, ON: Solicitor General of Canada and the Aboriginal Healing Foundation.
  7. Lane et al. (2002:63).
  8. Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (1996). Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, Volume 3: Gathering Strength. Ottawa, ON: Canada Communications Group.
  9. See for example, Lane et al. (2002).
  10. AFN National Chief Calls National Day of Action an Overwhelming Success, Assembly of First Nations Press Release, June 19, 2007. Retrieved 21 January 2008 from: