Native American Culture and Mental Health

November is Native American Heritage Month


Native Americans just like any other population of people face unique challenges. Living on a reservation can be hard and some of the challenges people living on reservations deal with include addiction, abuse, lack of quality education, unemployment, poor mental health, oppression, historical trauma, and generational trauma. Some statistics on the impact historical trauma has on this community are:


 36%  of those surveyed had daily thoughts about the loss of traditional language in their community

Autumn Rose Miskweminanocauq

34% experienced daily thoughts about the loss of culture

49% provided they had disturbing thoughts related to these losses


Some Native Americans have used their challenges with diversity to increase awareness within the mental health community. One individual in particular, Autumn Rose Miskweminanocauq (Raspberry Star Woman) Williams uses her experience to help others. As someone who struggled with body image she became a plus size model and has had the opportunity to give over 100 motivational speeches across the United States. She has also been able to advocate for accurate representation and inclusivity of Indigenous communities. You can learn more about her and her work here: 

Some activities going on for Native American Heritage month consist of:

  • The Plimoth Plantation teaching about the Wampanoag people, which is located south of Boston
  • The MFA has a Cyrus Dallin sculpture of a Ute tribe member
  • At Harvard’s Peabody Museum there is a hall dedicated to the North American Indian
  • The Mohawk trail is a beautiful scenic walk along what used to be a trade route from New York to Canada for Atlantic Indian tribes
  • The Natick History Museum has a section dedicated to Natick tribes

Mohawk Trail

Peabody Essex Museum

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