From Ambivalence to Revitalization: Negotiating Cardiovascular Health Behaviors Related to Environmental and Historical Trauma in a Northwest American Indian Community.


Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death among American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN). Utilizing narratives from members of a Pacific Northwest tribe, this paper explores perceptions about behaviors affecting cardiovascular health through tribal members' lived experiences related to place-based environmental historical trauma. Findings from narrative analysis indicate that ambivalence is an effect of historical trauma and complicates the adoption of protective cardiovascular health behaviors. Tribal narratives indicate a path to overcome this ambivalence stemming from historical environmental trauma through revitalization, adaptation, and re-integration of traditional cultural practices to contemporary contexts. By creating their own health promotion response, one that is not imposed or colonizing, tribal members are re-generating cultural practices and health behaviors associated with lowered risks of cardiovascular disease.

Location Description: 

Northwestern United States