Psychology from the Margins


Through a historical review, the authors sought to provide an analysis of the adverse psychological effects of the traumatization of colonialization in Alaska Native Peoples. In the context of oppression, the authors discuss the potentially harmful implications of approaching psychology from a framework development largely out of Western philosophical thought and the medical model. In an attempt to be more culturally sensitive to the unique history and needs of Alaska Natives, the contextual FHORT model is proposed as a more appropriate conceptual framework to start from. Details of the various facets of colonialization and their associations and suspected contributions to disparities in both health and mental health factors in Alaska Natives are discussed. This is followed by a dialogue of contemporary problems Indigenous People face and how psychology can play a supportive role in the healing process. Currently, much of the research on Alaska Natives is limited to more largescale population-based studies incorporating American Indians and Alaska Natives as one larger demographic; however, significant regional differences exist. Although this previous research is valuable, and some aspects may be transferable to the Alaska Native population, more specific research, as it applies to the provision of behavioral health services to Alaska Natives is necessary.



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