As migrants continue to enter the U.S. we see a surge in indigenous populations from all over the world. In recent weeks, RAICESTEXAS.org, the largest legal services provider for migrants in Texas, has documented the entry of Meso-American migrants--- not the usual Spanish speakers we are accustomed to from Latin America. We see families and children who speak Zapotec, Nahua, Ma'am, Quich'e, Maya, Mixe, Mixteco. It is increasingly challenging for immigration attorneys and mental health professionals who work in this arena to effectively deal with multiple layers of grief and complex trauma indigenous communities face. According to the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees, indigenous populations are the most vulnerable in every continent across the globe.
How do we effectively treat complex trauma and grief among migrants who do not share the same language as us? Part of our practice calls for techniques such as, Dadirri, an Australian Aboriginal concept of inner deep listening and quiet still awareness; a 'tuning in" experience to deeply understand the experiences of others that is not easily communicated through words. In this respect, Dadirri helps us access the non-verbal traumatic responses of one's life , and helps to relieve trauma symptoms through the listening of one's narrative. Dadirri can help us transcend the limits of language and other cross-cultural barriers during our advocacy.
In exploring more global responses to migrant and refugee trauma, practitioners will do well to develop practices like Dadirri, to cultivate deeper cross-cultural awareness and crisis response.