ERIC Number: EJ778119
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Reference Count: N/A
Assisting American Indian Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan Cope with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Lessons from Vietnam Veterans and the Writings of Jim Northrup
Gross, Lawrence W.
American Indian Quarterly, v31 n3 p373-409 Sum 2007
The country is at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and, as has been the case throughout the history of the United States, American Indians have answered the call and are serving bravely in the armed forces. As in years past, there are also a cadre of American Indian veterans returning from the battlefield, scarred and wounded in body, heart, and mind. Of course, scientists and social scientists will be investigating ways they can assist these heroic men and women. Scholars in American Indian studies who work in the humanities should no less consider how they can apply their research and analytical skills to the same task. This paper, then, is a call for scholars to engage in a sustained, interdisciplinary conversation about practical suggestions for relieving the suffering of American Indian warriors. The author begins the discussion by examining the record of American Indian veterans who served in Vietnam. At this point, American Indian Vietnam veterans have enough history with healing to help point out, practically speaking, what has helped them recover and what mistakes should be avoided. He starts with a brief word on the methodology informing this piece and then examines the record dealing with American Indian Vietnam veterans, starting with some basic epidemiological data and barriers to treatment that they have suffered. From there the discussion turns to the various ways American Indian communities have assisted their veterans. First, cultural forms such as ceremonies and powwows are discussed. Next, the methods being developed by psychologists who are working in a culturally sensitive manner to treat American Indian veterans are presented. Finally, in order to cover the humanities aspect of this issue, he turns to the writings of Jim Northrup, an Anishinaabe Indian veteran who has written extensively and honestly about his own struggles dealing with his personal legacy of the Vietnam War. In effect the author covers the cultural, psychological, and literary components of the experiences of American Indian Vietnam veterans. (Contains 136 notes.)
Descriptors: American Indian Studies, Ceremonies, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Psychologists, American Indians, War, Foreign Countries, Armed Forces, Social Scientists, Therapy, Indigenous Knowledge
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Ford Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Vietnam