The research, published in the journal SSM Population Health, found that adult children of mothers who attended residential school had increased impairment in biological regulation.
A new study from the University of Lethbridge provides evidence that a mother's experience of being in a residential school may have biological impacts on her children.
Kat Chief Moon-Riley conducted the research as part of her Master of Science thesis. She examined how social and economic stressors affect Indigenous health.
Chief Moon-Riley, who's now a medical student in Saskatchewan, says 43% of the 90 First Nations adults she collected data from had moderate impairments such as increased blood pressure and inflammation. That's compared to those who did not have a mother who went to a residential school.
She notes people need to recognize the impact of residential schools on past and present generations.
Dr. Cheryl Currie supervised Chief Moon-Riley on the study. She says the findings speak to the importance of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action.
Chief Moon-Riley is from the Blood Reserve and had two grandparents attend residential school. "I learned about how it affected not only them, but my mother and her siblings, as well as their grandchildren.”
The study was funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research.