Historical Trauma Increases Risk of Disease

by John McKiggan

A recent research project conducted by The Cedar Project in British Columbia has found that aboriginal youth who have relatives who attended an Indian Residential School have higher rates of Hepatitis C infection.

A similar study had already found that children whose parents attended a Residential School were more likely to have suffered sexual abuse as children.

The Public Health Agency of Canada estimates the incidents of Hepatitis C in the general Canadian population to be 0.8% but the latest study found that the disease is 7 times more prevalent among aboriginal people than non-aboriginals.

Of the aboriginal subjects who tested positive for Hepatitis having at least one parent who attended a residential school increased the chances of contracting Hepatitis by 1.9%.

While having a parent that attended an Indian Residential School does not, by itself, cause Hepatitis C it is clear that the learned behavior in the Residential Schools has a impact on how Residential School Survivors raise their own children.

Simply put, if you are raised in an institution how do you learn the types of good parenting skills that will help you keep your own children away from drugs and other high risk behavior?

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