Sandy Bay First Nation Healing Lodge Reconnects Youth with Tradition and Identity

Sandy Bay First Nation, located near Amaranth, Manitoba, is taking steps to help youth in the community cope with intergenerational trauma and loss of cultural identity.

Recognizing the devastating struggles with substance abuse among its young people, the Council of Elders has been looking at ways to revitalize traditional spiritual beliefs and values in alignment with Christian teachings.

The Nation has constructed a healing lodge in close proximity to the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Isaac Beaulieu Memorial School. The lodge serves as a dedicated space for healing, learning, ceremonies, and community gatherings.

To fully harness its potential, the lodge requires a number of items and resources. Funding from the Indigenous Reconciliation Fund (IRF) will support hosting opening ceremonies, provide honorariums for Elders and Knowledge Keepers offering traditional teachings, cover feast costs during a four-day vigil, and compensate teachers and fire keepers for their support.

The collaborative efforts of the Sandy Bay First Nation Council of Elders, Our Lady of Guadalupe parish, and the local school administration exemplify a collective commitment to supporting the well-being of the community’s youth. The healing lodge will allow young people to reconnect with their heritage, strengthen their sense of identity, and cultivate a sense of belonging grounded in traditional Indigenous values and Catholic teachings.

RCAC of Winnipeg – Our Lady of Guadalupe Church