University of Southern California
Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Redesigning Lives Globally
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Faculty

Heather Kitching OTD, OTR/L

Heather Kitching

Instructor of Clinical Occupational Therapy

Room: CHP 133
Phone: (323) 442-5370
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Education

Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD)
University of Southern California
2010

Master of Arts (MA) in Occupational Therapy
University of Southern California
2002

Bachelor of Science (BS) in Occupational Therapy
Quinnipiac College
1991

Publications

Journal Articles

Frank, G., Murphy, S. T., Kitching, H. J., Garfield, D. M., & McDarment, N. (2008). The Tule River tribal history project: Evaluating a California tribal government’s collaboration with anthropology and occupational therapy to preserve indigenous history and promote tribal goals. Human Organization, 67, 430-442. Link to full text Abstract →← Abstract 

Postcolonial and indigenous scholars suggest that creating alternative histories is a necessary activity for Native peoples in their recovery from the destructive emotional, behavioral, and political effects of colonial domination. The literature on history-making as a restorative process has focused on mental health, reversing negative representations of indigenous people in mainstream histories, and using Native histories to reclaim land and rights. In 2004, the Tule River Indian Tribe of Central California initiated an innovative history project to engage tribal elders in contributing historical information about themselves and their families for preservation by the Tribe. Theories and methods from postcolonial scholarship, anthropology, and occupational therapy (and its academic discipline occupational science) focused the Tule River Tribal History Project on providing meaningful and enjoyable activities—creating family trees, a tribal photo archive, interviews with elders, social gatherings and community discussions, and a website. The products were made available to participants in digital and printed formats. Copies have since been archived by the Tribal Council and also made available for tribal use at the Towanits Education Center on the Tule River Reservation. Pre-test and post-test survey data indicate: (1) the tribal elders' high valuation of the history-making activities; and (2) the positive impact of the program on social integration and spiritual well-being.