Advancing National Service

Can Ancient Native American Traditions Heal Today’s Vets?

December 3, 2013
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Can Ancient Native American Traditions Heal Today’s Vets?
PTSD-Blackfeet-reservation
Visions Service Adventures/Flickr
Some advocate sweat lodges for PTSD

For centuries, many Native American tribes held traditional rituals when their young men returned from battle to help reintegrate them into society. Today, some are performing these ceremonies to help veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Utah filmmaker Taki Telonidis of the Western Folklife Center in Salt Lake City is shooting a documentary about these traditions and their effects on returning vets, many of whom come home with “invisible drama,” he told the Elko Free Daily Press. Telonidis is documenting the traditions of warriors among the Blackfeet tribe and the work of one Shosone-Paiute medicine man who conducts sweat lodges for all interested veterans at the George Wallen Veteran Affairs Center in Salt Lake.

 

 

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