Alaskan Indigenous Peoples Experiencing High Rates of Trauma


ACES Too High News reviews two reports, one from the Alaska Tribal Health Consortium and one from the Advisory Board on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse and the Alaska Mental Health Board, that found Alaskans of aboriginal descent experiencing very high rates of many different types of trauma or adverse childhood experiences (ACE).

“Almost half of all Native Alaskans grew up with someone who had a substance abuse problem,” reports ACES Too High News. “The rate of sexual abuse is 32% among Alaska Native women, highest of any state’s ACE results. And the prevalence of four or more ACEs in the Native Alaskan community is nearly double that of non-Alaska Natives.”

High cost of childhood trauma in Alaska is documented, especially in Alaskan Native people (ACES Too High News, April 11, 2015)


  1. The attention on social problems in Native communities, the endemic quintupling of chronic disease issues per capita, are all important news for us all the time. When we finally see that we can’t get anywhere with our racial understanding and our “melting pot” history without recognizing and becoming broadly educated about them, and about how we are witnessing the lingering effects of actual genocidal intiatives against these peoples, by the colonizers and early American leaders, officials, and public–then we’ll be learning something, more actually. Then we can talk more responsibly about what we can do in regard to the psychosocial dimension of bad things that happen to afflict this ethnic group. Until then, it’s another crap shoot of institutionalization psychiatry and medicine proper, all left depending on one conscientious person at a time among pervasive extremes of suffering and isolation. I have seen one instance of encouraging investigation and intervention in an anthropological journal, but this too has to get regarded critically, since the attachment theories of Bowlby which were employed reflect Westernization attitudes, hence imply types of colonization, doubly, from the ethnic and professional dimensions of “rubber-stamp authority”.,%20attachment%20and%20culture%20(family%20process,%202002).pdf

    So, when I say it was encouraging, I mean that like most of my “good” encounters with helping professionals–they didn’t hurt much…or get me too far, either.

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    • The most perverse thing in this is that studies like that will be used by racists to claim that native people and minorities are somehow more prone to be criminal or crazy. They can’t really say it openly these days but those things are constantly being “suggested”.

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