Indigenous Cultural Programs
TWC All My Relations has developed a cultural program with careful consideration of the diverse backgrounds of our clients. We acknowledge our presence on traditional, unceded Coast Salish territory and have consulted with elders and knowledge holders from the traditional nations in the Lower Mainland.
As a significant number of clients have roots from elsewhere, wherever possible, we have consulted with elders that are familiar with local traditions in other indigenous nations.
Our program is not intended to replace the beliefs and customs of any of our clients, but rather to provide individual perspectives of local elders and knowledge keepers to promote wellness.
We are committed to our clients wellness and will make referrals to any elders that our clients indicate a preference to learn from. Our philosophy is that culture is essential to an indigenous program of recovery from substance abuse issues.
Our clients start each weekday with a smudging ceremony and morning prayer. While local beliefs vary on the purpose of smudging and the materials used to smudge may vary by region, our smudging ceremony is intended to start our day in prayer and for continued healing.
Our clients are invited to attend a sweat lodge ceremony at least once a week. We have a sweat lodge site available in Capilano First Nation for the use of our clients in healing ceremonies and naming ceremonies. We also attend other sweat lodge ceremonies in the Lower Mainland to allow clients to learn from different knowledge keepers and to meet other indigenous people that are following a spiritual path.
Sun Dance Ceremony
The sun dance is a ceremony that many indigenous nations practice on an annual basis. Since many clients originate from indigenous nations that practice the sun dance, we participate in the sun dance preparation ceremonies and the main sun dance ceremony. An annual trip is planned to Fountain Valley where many indigenous people from the Lower Mainland travel to attend the sun dance ceremony.
The longhouse ceremony is practiced by indigenous nations on the west coast and is intended for the spiritual renewal of those who attend. These ceremonies happen during winter months and those who attend do so with the intention of creating a spiritually fulfilling life. Attendance at longhouse ceremonies is planned for TWC All My Relations clients during winter months.
Other ceremonies such as yuwipi ceremonies happen on a periodic basis. We will take our clients to these ceremonies to develop a more thorough understanding of indigenous spirituality and ceremonial practices.
The pow wow is a cultural gathering that many nations will host on an annual basis. We take our clients to local and regional pow wows for them to experience this event and to enjoy themselves in a sober environment. We also attend pow wow night at the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre.