Reclaiming Our Identity Through Indigenous Cultural Generative Acts to Improve Mental Health of All Generations

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


“Generativity” represents an important stage of human development, when you share your knowledge and skills with younger people to pass on your legacy. Very little research has been conducted with Indigenous populations regarding their understanding of generativity and its role in well-being and mental health, but Indigenous Peoples refer to this as caring for the future or Seventh Generation. Indigenous Peoples engage in generative behaviors and act to preserve the history and culture of their community to ensure that youth can lead healthy lives, which is in direct contrast to Western understanding and reasons for being generative. Throughout our lives, we engage in healthy and unhealthy behaviors, which may or may not contribute to a healthy identity; this chapter discusses four cultural factors, or Indigenous cultural generative acts, used by Alaska Native Elders both to achieve sobriety and to fill the role of an Elder in their family and community. Also discussed is how these cultural factors can be used to guide the development of culture-specific mental health treatment approaches, and more broadly, prevention strategies for all ages. This intergenerational healing can result in pride and improved mental health for Indigenous Peoples of all ages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIndigenous Knowledge and Mental Health
Subtitle of host publicationA Global Perspective
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9783030713461
ISBN (Print)9783030713447
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2022.


  • Alaska native
  • Alcohol
  • Generativity
  • Older adults
  • Recovery
  • Sobriety


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