Monday, November 9, 2020
Tuesday, November 3, 2020
November is Indigenous heritage month it is an opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge important cultural contributions made by Indigenous peoples to the world. The picture above is of my dad, who was a traditional trapper, and an older brother.
Water needs flow to stay fresh, humans need to adapt to challenges to create a life that is meaningful and purposeful. Indigenous peoples are survivors, they have adapted, and continue to teach us by their example.
In the summer 2020 during a global pandemic four professional Indigenous women came up with a plan and met to discuss a vision I am one of them. What followed was an electric conversation, filled with inspiration and insight. We had noble aspirations to combat addictions in Indigenous communities across Canada. Our idea is to develop curriculum based on intergenerational trauma as a source of addictions.
I admit the subject of addictions is broad and complex and cannot simply be reduced to effects of trauma. This point cannot be ignored or understated. However, coupled with looking at the effects of the impact of colonization on Indigenous Peoples is a pathway to uncovered a possible link of intergenerational trauma and addictions. There is Overwhelming trauma in our history.
It goes without saying that the impact of the global pandemic created a perfect storm for addictions to take hold in Indigenous communities, due to months long lockdown, loss of income and security. People suffered and continue to suffer and is placing a burden on their mental health. These stresses are exactly what drives people to turn to substance abuse.
Since the onset of the pandemic suicides, and abuse incidents have increased in communities. communities are under insurmountable grief. The four women decided to do something to mitigate the damages done by the pandemic and step into an huge undertaking. The fruits of their conversation resulted in the creation of 7th Generation Indigenous foundation and training, also known as GIFT. it is no mistake that the foundation acronym is GIFT it was by design. the foundation is a gift to the communities.
Careful consideration was given to people who were invited to sit on the foundation. An ideal director would have the following qualities, leadership and knowledge in the area of addictions, integrity, a strong desire and commitment to be part of the solution. In turn, the foundation aligns with their inner purpose for meaningful service to their communities. Essentially to be involved with a movement greater than themselves, a noble cause.
The foundation's work will transform individual lives and communities by creating healthy relationships.
We are extremely pleased that we have attracted Scholarly and established Indigenous people to sit on the foundation. Day one they showed up engaged and ready for the challenge ahead.
Through the efforts of the foundation we are creating a vision of healthy communities. We are creating a new reality, Our plan includes uplifting all Indigenous peoples to be the very best version of themselves.
November is Indigenous heritage month I salute all Indigenous peoples across turtle Island who show up every day for their communities, giving their time, energy, and dedication for a healthier year-round environment for all Indigenous communities. A special acknowledgment for the women who shared a vision with me and have joined me on this journey side-by-side on the foundation. Our work is a reflection of what is in our spirit.
In just a couple short months we were able to act on this vision from spirit of our ancestors. Their strength has led us to include Harm reduction as a model in reducing substance abuse. This is not just a theoretical idea. Countries such as Denmark, Germany, and even Canada have establish regulated medically supervised, safe injection sites. These facilities operate by avoiding stigma and shame on those who use the facilities. When a safe humane program is available it increases the probability of them seeking treatment to combat addictions on their own. It has demonstrated this as a successful approach, perhaps most significantly they build their confidence and ability for them to tap into their inner source for healing.
A question I will leave you with, what would a future look like for Indigenous Peoples if there were professionals or organizations that not only provided a safe environment but also focussed on offering resources on mental and physical health? This foundation is a start towards fulfilling that vision. If anything you read here aligns with your spirit, and you would like to help with a donation, all gifts will receive a tax receipt.
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