Healing in an Age of Indigenous Human Rights
Publication Year: 2013
Million contends that nation-state relations are influenced by a theory of trauma ascendant with the rise of neoliberalism. Such use of trauma theory regarding human rights corresponds to a therapeutic narrative by Western governments negotiating with Indigenous nations as they seek self-determination.
Focusing on Canada and drawing comparisons with the United States and Australia, Million brings a genealogical understanding of trauma against a historical filter. Illustrating how Indigenous people are positioned differently in Canada, Australia, and the United States in their articulation of trauma, the author particularly addresses the violence against women as a language within a greater politic. The book introduces an Indigenous feminist critique of this violence against the medicalized framework of addressing trauma and looks to the larger goals of decolonization. Noting the influence of humanitarian psychiatry, Million goes on to confront the implications of simply dismissing Indigenous healing and storytelling traditions.
Therapeutic Nations is the first book to demonstrate affect and trauma’s wide-ranging historical origins in an Indigenous setting, offering insights into community healing programs. The author’s theoretical sophistication and original research make the book relevant across a range of disciplines as it challenges key concepts of American Indian and Indigenous studies.
Published by: University of Arizona Press
Title Page, About the Series, Copyright
1. An Introduction to Healing in an Age of Indigenous Human Rights
In a 2008 news article, “Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission Raises Controversy,” Adrian Humphreys asks her readers to contemplate how “Canada will take its historical place alongside such tarnished regimes as South Africa, Chile, El Salvador and Sierra Leone.” The Truth and...
2. Gendered Racialized Sexuality: The Formation of States
The Canadian TRC specifically addressed sexual abuse of Indian children in residential schools. As a separate issue, Canada and the United States also came under human rights scrutiny from Amnesty International for failing to protect Indigenous women from sexual violence. These campaigns...
3. Felt Theory
In this chapter I make a case for remembering and understanding the impact of Canadian First Nations and Métis women’s first-person and experiential narratives on white, mostly male, mainstream scholarship. I argue that these narratives were political acts in themselves that in their...
4. The “Indian Problem”: Anomie and Its Discontents
In a 2008 commentary on research surrounding mental health in Indian Country, Audra Simpson asks, in tandem with W. E. B. Du Bois, “How does it feel to be a Problem?”2 Her commentary astutely assesses how those once denied any subjectivity come to the fore in a neoliberal moment...
5. Therapeutic Nations
The Aboriginal Healing Foundation, headed by a Native who’s who in health, social work, and recovery, acknowledged their work as an extension of grassroots work in communities. They had built on the back of work that had been ongoing for over a decade. Charged with bringing the multiple...
6. What Will Our Nation Be?
In the United States, Pat Bellanger, an Ojibwe from Minnesota, stated her community’s interest: “To us, it is impossible to separate the fate of our children from the fate of our families—they are the same. We needed to come together as families. The women define the family and the family...
7. (Un)Making the Biopolitical Citizen
On the website Self-Determination Theory, Edward Deci and Richard Ryan’s words appear and dissolve, intermixed with pictures of smiling, healthy people. Their words introduce the power of self-determination as a theory for well-being: “To be self determined is to endorse one’s actions...