Executives: Well-Being and Equity in the Spotlight to Break Cycles of Trauma

Published on June 22, 2023

How do you help someone heal from a traumatic experience albeit physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual abuse?  Well-Being and Equity (WE) in the World, a team of well-being and equity architects, presents solutions to advance transgenerational well-being by exploring Native American practices to break the cycle of trauma.

Did you know . . .

  • “Seventy percent of adults (or 223.4 million people) in the U.S. have experienced some type of traumatic event at least once in their lives.” (National Council For Behavioral Health)
  • “Nearly 2,000 people a day (800,000 per year) die by suicide – 90 percent related to mental disorders.” (Source:  Clubhouse International)
  • “Post traumatic stress disorder affects 7.7 million adults or 3.6 percent of the population.”  (Source: NIMH: Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.)

“When trauma is experienced from generation to generation, both in groups that have been historically oppressed and in families that have experienced trauma over generations, we encode this trauma in genes, culture and environment.  If we don’t invest in healing ourselves, trauma both hampers our capacity for resilience and creates the conditions where we pass on that trauma to future generations,”  says Somava Saha, president and chief executive officer, Well-Being and Equity (WE) in the World.

To help individuals break the cycle of trauma, WE in the World’s partner organization Freedom Lodge, which is led by Executive Director Dr. Ruby Gibson, has developed an innovative program called Somatic Archaeology to resolve underlying issues pertaining to trauma.  

Somatic Archaeology centers on “unearthing in the human body those remains and artifacts of our familial, ancestral, and spiritual lineage in order to uncover our myths and remember our stories for personal and planetary evolution.” (Source: Freedom Lodge and The Black Hills Historical Trauma and Research & Recovery Center).  

There are five steps in Somatic Archaeology  – 1) I Notice, 2) I Sense, 3) I Feel, 4) I Interpret and 5) I Reconcile.  Somatic Archaeology has been used primarily and successfully in Native American communities. By helping individuals heal, reclaim their cultural identity, break the cycle of trauma and addiction, and create post-traumatic resilience and growth, Somatic Archaeology has helped create Native Wellness across the U.S. and Canada.

Freedom Lodge has developed a novel program called the Historical Trauma Master Class HTMC, which is based on Somatic Archaeology principles.  Freedom Lodge works to resolve underlying issues relating to generational trauma in Native Americans in the U.S. and First Nations People in Canada.

To date, Freedom Lodge has trained approximately 250 Tribal Members as therapists in the last seven years. The program has helped to reduce anxiety, addiction, historical grief and amensia, as well as lessen the legacy of violence, sexual assault and suicide.

“That is why the work of groups such as Freedom Lodge, who are bringing forward the best of Native American practices to create mechanisms for, identifying, predicting, and healing generational trauma is so important,” says Somava Saha, president and chief executive officer, Well-Being and Equity (WE) in the World.

WE in the World and its partner organization are leading the way to break the cycle of trauma and to advance transgenerational well-being and equity for all. Together, we can bring about real change.

Aaron Kelly is a Grit Daily contributor, a lawyer, business & cybersecurity consultant, and startup founder. For over 15 years, he has immersed himself in the tech world, both personally and professionally, developing solutions for Fortune 500 and single-person operations alike. He is a graduate of Michigan State University Eli Broad College of Business and the Michigan State College of Law. Working at firms both big and small, he has gained valuable insight into how the legal sector works and can best be leveraged to secure ventures.Kelly has consulted with established businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs on various matters, ranging from risk management to marketing compliance. With his background in law, he is helpful in the event of an intellectual property violation or other legal formality. When not working, Kelly enjoys learning, playing video games, and off-roading. He is currently learning python and studying machine learning.

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