Last month, I blogged about the exciting Native American storytelling project by Native Hope:
We believe in the power of storytelling to dismantle barriers, bring healing, and inspire hope for Native people.
Here is a section from one of their articles, The Science Behind the Healing Power of Storytelling.
‘The healing power of stories
There’s no doubt about it: stories are powerful. When a person can identify their role in their own story as well as the individual elements of their story, they can then begin to understand their lives and the world they’re part of in a way most people never experience.
This idea of healing through storytelling is especially true in the Native American tradition. Storytelling is central to the cultural and oral tradition of Native Americans in this country.
Renda Dionne, clinical psychologist and member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, says, “Stories are how we come to understand ourselves and the world around us. For American Indians stories are medicine…being present with yourself and the audience and speaking from the heart.”
For Native Americans, living with the legacy of historical trauma passed down over generations, stories can provide powerful opportunities to see the bigger picture and to embrace strength, honor, and courage in the face of difficulty.
Stories are a bonding tool. They unite people in their quests to overcome turmoil because everyone can identify with and relate to a story.
Hearing someone else’s story can provide hope to the broken. Often, the only thing that can comfort someone who has lived through great tragedy or tough circumstances is the account of someone else who went through something similar and made it through, wounds and all.
When you understand the story you’re part of and the role you are capable of playing, you can heal the wounds of the past and focus on the challenges and joys of the present.
It’s just as important to share your own story as it is to hear the stories of others.
At Native Hope, we believe in the power of storytelling to dismantle barriers, bring healing, and inspire hope for Native people, and we aren’t alone. The science backs up our belief.
We are here for each other; we are here to share our experiences; we are here to heal.’
If you have time, it’s well worth checking out the following beautiful Healing Story, A Portrait of Hope: Jaime.