© 2024 The Duluth-Superior Area Educational Television Corporation (WDSE)

The North 103.3 FM is licensed to The Duluth-Superior Area Educational Television Corporation (WDSE)
Locally Curated. Community Owned.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Community Conversations: Historical Trauma: Three Views, Part Two

Photo 1: Mathers Museum of World Cultures/Flickr
Cheyenne woman Jennie Red Robe with her child.
 Location: Crow Reservation, Montana
Date: 1909
Photo 2: John Tewell
A black family at the Hermitage Plantation, Savannah, Georgia, USA, about 1907
Photo 3: Marion Doss/Flickr
Prisoners in the concentration camp at Sachsenhausen, Germany, December 19, 1938.


Last time on Community Conversations, we introduced the theory of historical trauma. It was developed in the 1980s by Native American social worker and mental health expert Maria Yellow Horse Braveheart to explain the whole constellation of symptoms a family, community or a people experience in reaction to traumatic events.

America is a country that, like it or not, is steeped in historical trauma.  From the genocide of Native Americans to the enslavement of African Americans right on through the experience of Holocaust survivors in this country, the aftershocks remain.

For many European Americans, though, this idea is counter-intuitive.  Accustomed to the idea of “bootstrapping” one’s self out of any difficulty in life and having more often been perpetrators of historical trauma as opposed to the objects of it, they’re more inclined to meet the theory with a scornful “get over it.”

But recent studies on the science behind intergenerational trauma suggest that people can’t just “get over” these experiences – the trauma is on their genes and can actually be passed down to each new generation.

Lisa Johnson started her broadcast career anchoring the television news at her high school and spinning country music at KWWK/KOLM Radio in Rochester, Minnesota. She was a reporter and news anchor at KTHI in Fargo, ND (not to mention the host of a children's program called "Lisa's Lane") and a radio reporter and anchor in Moorhead, Bismarck, Wahpeton and Fergus Falls.Since 1991, she has hosted Northland Morning on KUMD. One of the best parts of her job includes "paying it forward" by mentoring upcoming journalists and broadcasters on the student news team that helps produce Northland Morning. She also loves introducing the different people she meets in her job to one another, helping to forge new "community connections" and partnerships.Lisa has amassed a book collection weighing over two tons, and she enjoys reading, photography, volunteering with Animal Allies Humane Society and fantasizing about farmland. She goes to bed at 8pm, long before her daughter, two cats, or three dogs.
Related Content