Something your ancestors did or saw can be passed from generation to generation?


New research suggests that intense psychological trauma can actually impact a person’s genes and be passed along to future generations. The condition is called “epigenetic change.”

Researchers have found that this genetic condition caused the children of Holocaust survivors to develop acute stress and anxiety disorders.

MTN reporter Josh Meny went to the Blackfeet Reservation in Browning to see whether the trauma suffered by the Blackfeet people in the second half of the 1800’s is still affecting them psychologically today.

Great Falls College-MSU hosted a talk on trauma as a part of “No More Violence Week” in early April.

Boston Medical Center’s Courtney Bailey discussed a hereditary form known as intergenerational trauma.

Child Witness To Violence Project at Boston Medical Center spokesperson Courtney Bailey explained: “The research is showing that genes can be passed down and they’re calling it the trauma gene, not really sure how it gets passed down, but we know that the gene gets adapted in some kind of way when a family has experienced trauma in that we can see that gene passed down for several generations.”

In 1830, The Indian Removal Act began a systematic effort by the U.S. government to remove Native Americans from their lands.

The Blackfeet people experienced the Baker Massacre in 1870 where more than 200 women, children, and elderly were slaughtered. Then, in the winter of 1883-1884 more than four times more Blackfeet people died of hunger in the event known as Starvation Winter. These are just two of the most talked about events in countless other atrocities that the Blackfeet people have experienced.

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