The first Annual Day of Care & Healing took place virtually with the support of my coworkers at the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan Mental Health Team and Victim Services of Renfrew County.
For some of us who are staff and community members, this day was about realizing a dream of offering a community-led moment of healing. This day was an important chance to connect with Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members and show Renfrew County what services are available.
The planning team worked hard to make this day possible with funds from the Department of Justice Canada and technical facilitation offered by Dpearce Productions, a First Nations owned business.
Algoqnuin Elder Roberta Della-Picca opened our event by grounding us with Sema teachings and a mindful practice to reconnect with our bodies. My own session was about embracing the Winter Medicines in preparation for the cold nights ahead, followed by a chaga tea medicine tutorial.
Tasheena Sarazin shared her beautiful music throughout our day and provided teachings on the power of using our voices. Joseph Pitawanakwat of Creator's Garden helped to end the day with plant medicine guidance for healing.
We are so grateful to all of the partners who helped realize this day of healing and care and we are humbled at the response of attendees. There is no limit to what our community is capable of and we're excited to do it all again next year!
My pen name is Chrystal Waban and I am a member of the Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn First Nation.