A Celebration of Indigenous Peformance and Art
Long-time Together We Can staff member Bill Sinclair accompanied a group of our residents on a visit to the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre in Yaletown this past month.
The Talking Stick Festival is an annual gathering of indigenous artists and performers which includes drumming, dancing, and a variety of indigenous on display including paintings, carvings and sculptures. Bill has been attending this showcase of indigenous creativity for many years and is passionate about helping indigenous men in our program find their roots.
Dancers twirled and ominous chanting could be heard reverberating through the hallways as performers dressed in traditional regalia evoked a strong sense of appreciation and inspiration from the crowd. Coming together to embrace their heritage, the deeply healing effect felt by our residents in early recovery left them feeling "optimistic and proud." Staff and alumni look forward to attending Talking Stick festivals for years to come.
Together We Can Addictions Counellors Dan Bernard and Jackson Dionne have been working closely with indigenous residents at our Straight Path Treatment Home to instill and carry on the values and traditions of their ancestors. From a perspective of respect and appreciation, counsellors incorporate activities such as smudging, sweat lodge ceremonies, pow wows, cedar brushing and talking circles.
Together We Can strives to remain a culturally-inclusiveness and progressive program with staff equipped to treat men suffering from a range of mental health and substance misuse issues.
"O Great Spirit whose voice I hear in the winds, I come to you as one of your many children. I need your strength and your wisdom. Make me strong not to be superior to my brother, but to be able to fight my greatest enemy: "Myself" – Chief Dan George