HEALING AND RECONCILIATION FOR COMMUNITIES AND FAMILIES

Welamukotuk Resilience Program

The community of Welamukotuk (Oromocto First Nation) in Oromocto, New Brunswick, is dealing with an increase in mental health issues and addiction.

Lingering effects of post-pandemic isolation, coupled with poverty and limited support options, have intensified these challenges for community members.

Welamukotuk has put together support programs designed to guide participants through a journey of healing and self-discovery, fostering collective resilience and individual well-being.

The initial phase of the programs focuses on bringing community members together and creating a supportive space for open dialogue. Participants will engage in discussions about resilience, exploring what it means to them both as a community and on a personal. level. By elevating the voices of community members, the programs hope to empower individuals to take ownership of their healing journey.

Structured around the four quadrants of the Sacred Medicine Wheel teachings—Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, and Mental—the programming will offer a series of workshops and training opportunities. These sessions will be developed and delivered with cultural sensitivity, ensuring that participants feel respected and supported throughout their participation.

Funding from the Indigenous Reconciliation Fund (IRF) will cover expenses such as honorariums for facilitators, supplies and materials for workshops, and a meal program. Additionally, Elders and Knowledge Keepers will be engaged to provide guidance and wisdom rooted in cultural traditions.

The hope is that upon completion of the program, participants will be equipped with the skills, goals, and support networks to facilitate their healing journey. Empowered individuals will have the opportunity to mentor and educate youth, fostering intergenerational connections and resilience within the community. In addition, participants will be encouraged to take an active role in planning and coordinating an anti-racism event in the town of Oromocto.

Through these community-driven initiatives, Welamukotuk looks to address the root causes of mental health issues and addiction while fostering a culture of healing, resilience, and support for all its members.

Diocese of Saint John