This community-based research applied principles of wilderness experience programming and Indigenous knowledges in an exploratory intervention designed to address health disparities in a tribal community. Drawing on historical trauma frameworks, tribal members rewalked the Trail of Tears to consider its effect on contemporary tribal health. Qualitative data from tribal members suggest that engagement with place and experiential learning, particularly the physical and emotional challenge of the Trail, facilitated changes in health beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. Deep engagement outside of traditional health service settings should be considered in interventions and may be particularly effective in promoting positive health behaviors in Native communities.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research and authorship of the article: William P. and Ruth Gerberding Endowed Professorship and the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute at the University of Washington and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health under award number HHSN271201200663P and award number R01DA037176 and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health under award number P60MD006909 . The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
- American Indian
- Historical trauma