Read the October/November 2021 issue of Achimowina – NCN’s community, government, business, arts and events news.
Youth Wellness Gathering a Huge Success
Almost 200 young people attended the Nelson House Medicine Lodge (NHML) Youth Wellness Gathering, August 23 to 26.
“This venture became bigger and began to take a life of its own, as other NCN organizations expressed interest in being a part of it,” says Marilyn Linklater, who organized the event with her team. “Together we created an agenda with a focus on addictions.”
The Gathering began with the lighting of a sacred fire and pipe ceremony. The fire remained lit throughout the week, and tobacco ties were always available to offer prayers. There was a call for all Pipe Carriers, with Traditional Healer Andrew Pelletier as Lead Pipe. The Pipe Carriers were offered tobacco to come each day to offer their prayers.
Keynote speakers and workshop sessions, which included topics such as art therapy, were well attended. A girl who participated in art therapy told her mother that she had “never felt so grounded, and it felt so good since she had lost many to suicide.”
One of the highlights was the Naming and Sweat Lodge Ceremonies. Sweats were held every evening for all program participants, many who were attending the sweat for the first time. One attendee was a young girl who requested healing prayers for her mother who is bound to a wheelchair.
Pelletier was busy throughout the Gathering, giving many children, youth and Elders their Spirit Names. He asked NHML staff to commit to helping those who received their Spirit Names to show them how to feast their names each year, until they can do that for themselves.
At one point, he asked a group of children, lined up waiting for their names, why they were seeking their Spirit Names. Was it because their friends were doing it? Did they truly understand what it meant to receive their Spirit Name? One youth said he wanted to know who he really is. Another response was, “I want to know God and I want God to know me.”
These responses reminded everyone that children must have the opportunity to know their culture.
The Gathering ended with a Round Dance and Sweat Lodge Ceremony. The sweat lodge was built in front of the building. Its highly visible presence declared that our sacred ceremonies will no longer be hidden. In fact, a young man was passing by and saw the sweat lodge. He came in and asked for prayers and healing, which served as another affirmation that our children need our traditions.
“We want to express our gratitude and blessings to all the facilitators, and to our sponsors. We especially want to thank our participants, who showed their readiness to embrace wellness activities and programming for youth in NCN,” says Linklater. “People were enjoying the spirit of community and did not want the event to end. This is only the beginning of better things to come as we strive towards making NCN better for all.”
OKIMAHKAN OTY’AMIWIN FROM THE CHIEF
- Safety and Security During Unprecedented Times
KITITAHWINAOW ACHIMOWIN COMMUNITY
- Lest We Forget
- NCN Citizen (Rico Cody Linklater) Missing
- Clinical Health Psychologist Coming to NCN
- Nisichawayasihk Chief Meets Federal Government Representative
- History and Heritage – Stories of Wisakicahk Otitiskiwinihk (as told by Joe Francois)
- New Numeracy Coach Helps Teachers and Students
- NCN Citizen (Brooklyn Letexier-Hart) Receives Best Actress Award
- Literacy Coach Virginia Moose Welcomed
- Otetiskewin Kiskinwamahtowekamik Elementary School Greeting from New Principal (Eldon Okanee)
- Syphilis is on the Rise
- News from NNCEA Director of Education
- NNCEA School Board Meeting Dates for 2021-22
- Back in the Groove With Parks and Rec
- NCN Truth and Reconciliation Event – Sticks, Stones and Words Do Hurt
- Family and Community Wellness Centre Hosts its AGM
- Citizen Profile: Thamer Linklater
- School Closure Due to Cold Weather
- Avoiding Stress over the Holidays
- Let’s Eliminate Gender-Based Violence