Stephanie Harpe on Intergenerational Trauma, Healing & Advocating for MMIW

The legacy of residential school is a painful reality for many Indigenous peoples. My first guest, Stephanie Harpe experienced intergenerational trauma – her mother, Ruby Anne McDonald was a residential school survivor. Stephanie’s traumatic childhood resulted in a youth of addictions and abusive relationships. Stephanie’s life spiraled out of control in 1999 when her Mother was found murdered in an Edmonton apartment building. She managed to escape her addictions and dangerous lifestyle when she met her now husband, Jeff. Stephanie reached out for professional help, and began her healing journey.

Today, Stephanie is a successful actress on the TV show, Blackstone and the founder of the Stephanie Harpe Experience. Her band was recently nominated in Edmonton’s Music Awards for their song, “Rezz Rock” as Indigenous Recording of the Year.

On today’s episode, Stephanie shares how she reached out for healing, and learned to love herself. Now Stephanie focuses on giving back to the Indigenous community through the arts, and public speaking.

“Every year, as the years went by I told myself I’m going to be a better, patient, more loving person. I’m going to love myself, love others, and my family is going to thrive and I’m going to thrive with them.” – Stephanie Harpe on healing.

Listen to this episode


Today on the Women Warriors Podcast

  • Her traumatic childhood and overcoming intergenerational trauma (5:55)
  • How Stephanie identifies with residential school survivors (7:00)
  • How putting children in care is the modern form of residential school (7:15)
  • Her dark period of addiction after her mother’s murder in Edmonton (10:19)
  • How she started her healing journey and accessed professional help (11:06)
  • Her journey of sobriety (11:40)
  • Her healing resources (12:55)
  • Healing for her children (15:08)
  • Her diagnosis of ADHD, PTSD, and severe anxiety and coping strategies (16:24)
  • Her thoughts on the Murdered & Missing Indigenous Women Inquiry (18:29)
  • How sharing her story has helped her become stronger and the power of positivity (22:15)
  • What she learned from her failures in acting and music (23:00)
  • Her passion for youth, the Indigenous youth suicide crisis, and using her story to help them (26:56)
  • Her tip for inspiring artists to learn their craft (32:05)
  • How she pursued a career in music and acting while raising a family (32:56)
  • Her burning desire for the following projects – speaking events and a documentary about her life (34:50)
  • Her advice for women struggling in small communities (35:55)

Selected Links from this Episode

What did you learn about from this podcast? 

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Connect with Stephanie Harpe
Facebook: The Stephanie Harpe Experience

Website The Stephanie Harpe Exeperience

Twitter @stephanieharpe

Instagram steph_harpe

Purchase her album on Itunes – The Stephanie Harpe Experience 

Special thanks to the Stephanie Harpe Experience for allowing Women Warriors to use a clip of “Rezz Rock” for our introduction music.

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Audio Editing by Polarity Audio Works