Training opportunity: Indigenous Approach to Treating Lifetime and Historical Trauma

by Michelle Saport  |   

The UAA Center for Behavioral Health Research and Services and the Alaska Department of Corrections are hosting two workshops this upcoming May. Scholarships and DOC internships/practicums are available for students. For registration options and more information, visit the workshop website. Contact Maia Wen at with any questions.

Calricaraq: An Indigenous Approach to Recovering from Impacts of Historical and Lifetime Trauma Thursday, May 31 | Friday, June 1 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. both days UAA/APU Consortium Library and via distance

Calricaraq, translated "Healthy Living," is a culturally-based program utilizing Yup'ik culture, values and traditions to address behavioral health issues from a holistic, indigenous approach. The implementation of this program has evolved after observing several years of ineffective suicide prevention programs in our Native communities. Local indigenous providers observed these programs as ineffective because they lacked understanding that whole health within our indigenous communities must include integration of our cultural values, traditions, and teachings. The programs also did not address how healing is central in working towards health and wellness. This led to the creation and implementation of Calricaraq, a holistic and community-based program aimed at restoring wellness and balance.

Day 1 The two-day training brings you on a journey to understand what Calricaraq consists of, how the process works, and why the process works. The first day engages the participants to understand the root causes of the issues we face in our Native communities through activities like the "community layers of circles." Additional activities teach why and how these changes have such a negative impact on us today.

Day 1 Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the concept of historical trauma and its effects on present-day indigenous populations.
  • Gain information and knowledge about Calricaraq, an indigenous, tradition-based wellness program.
  • Identify the basic differences between the western and indigenous approaches of treatment.
  • Identify potential strategies to effectively address trauma and promote healing in Native communities.
  • Utilize tools that are practical and usable, past a theoretical level.

Day 2 The second day focuses on the healing that must be done in our Native communities. It includes examination of the important elements necessary for healing to take place as well as the important considerations for healers to guide this process. Both days include talking circles and open discussion following the activities. This interactive training helps us to improve the way we provide services to the indigenous populations that we serve.

Day 2 Learning Objectives:

  • Apply indigenous strategies with Alaska Native populations in various treatment settings.
  • Gain knowledge and skills to respond effectively with Alaska Native people.
  • Explain ways to improve relationships between Alaska Native and Non-Native people with focus on Healing.
  • Gain culturally appropriate tools to use in various treatment settings.
  • Apply insight to one's own personal lifetime experiences and how they impact our work.

Learn more and register at the workshop website.

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May Archive