Even before knowing the term ‘intergenerational trauma,’ Corrine Sanchez felt its impacts in her life.

Growing up in San Ildefonso as a Native woman “means understanding the historical impacts of laws and legislation on our communities … surviving genocide and our communities fighting for our land, fighting for our existence,” the Tewa Women United director said.

For Sanchez and many others, problems facing the present generation started decades ago. This is the idea behind intergenerational trauma: when the effects of trauma experienced by an individual or community can be passed on to people who have not experienced the trauma themselves.

Seneca Johnson is a senior at the Santa Fe Indian School. You can contact her at


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