The Impact of Historical and Current Loss on Chronic Illness: Perceptions of Crow (Apsáalooke) People

  • Sloane Florence Deanna Real Bird Montana State University
  • Suzanne Held Montana State University
  • Alma McCormick Messengers for Health
  • John Hallett Montana State University
  • Christine Martin Montana State University
  • Coleen Trottier Montana State University
Keywords: Historical trauma, chronic illness, chronic illness self-management, American Indian, Native American, Crow Nation


The purpose of this research was to gain a better understanding of perceptions about the impact of historical and current loss on Apsáalooke (Crow) people acquiring and coping with chronic illness. This study took a qualitative phenomenological approach by interviewing community members with chronic illness in order to gain insight into their perceptions and experiences. Participants emphasized 10 areas of impact of historical and current loss: the link between mental health and physical health/health behaviors; resiliency and strengths; connection and isolation; importance of language and language loss; changes in cultural knowledge and practices; diet; grieving; racism and discrimination; changes in land use and ownership; and boarding schools. The findings from this research are being used to develop a chronic illness self-care management program for Crow people.

Author Biography

Sloane Florence Deanna Real Bird, Montana State University
Department of Health and Human Development, Research associate


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