Once again Mino-si-toon Wichozani offers the chance to gather and heal together in a safe space
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 11, 2023
ANISHINAABE AND DAKOTA TERRITORY, MB — The Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) is pleased to announce our second annual Survivors’ Healing Gathering. This year’s gathering is scheduled for January 18 and 19 at the Victoria Inn Hotel and Convention Centre in Winnipeg.
“Last year, more than 550 participants from 79 First Nations joined us for two incredible days of sharing and healing,” said SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels. “I look forward to once again creating space for Survivors to come together and continue to advance their healing journeys.”
The event is geared towards Survivors and Intergenerational Survivors of residential schools, day schools, the Sixties Scoop, the child welfare system, along with all those who are impacted by the national emergency of our missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, two spirit, and gender-diverse (MMIWG2s+) relatives.
Once again, the gathering is called “Mino-si-toon Wichozani.” In Anishinaabemowin, the word “Mino-si-toon” means “putting things right” or “doing things in a good way.” In Dakota, the word “Wichozani” means “healing.” SCO thanks the Elders and Survivors involved in the planning for sharing these words with us. We are using these two words together to indicate our movement forward and that we are putting things in a good way on our healing journey.
There will be keynote addresses from several remarkable speakers, including award-winning lawyer Kimberley Murray. Ms. Murray is a member of the Kahnesatake Mohawk Nation. She is the Independent Special Interlocutor for Missing Children and Unmarked Graves and Burial Sites associated with residential schools and was the former Executive Director of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
We are also honoured that bestselling author and award-winning journalist Tanya Talaga will join us as a keynote speaker. Ms. Talaga is Anishinaabe from the Fort William First Nation. She is the author of Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death and Hard Truths in a Northern City and All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward and she has written about her search for a missing family member.
There will also be panel discussions and information sessions on a range of topics, including reclaiming our traditional teachings; how to access child and family services files for Sixties Scoop Survivors; presentations on harm reduction and on grief and loss; Elder and Grandmother teachings; language workshops; medicine doll making (a healing exercise); as well as orange shirt and red dress beading workshops.
“Caring for our Survivors and acknowledging the monumental task of creating lasting healing for them and their loved ones forms the basis of my daily work as a leader,” added Chief Cornell McLean of the Lake Manitoba First Nation. “I encourage everyone who has been impacted to attend and be a part of this affirming and life-changing event. This gathering provides our citizens with the opportunity to come together in a good way, build relationships, and learn from one another.”
While participants can learn and network, there will also be opportunities to take part in self-care and healing activities. A variety of fun and enjoyable events are being planned for attendees, including cedar baths and reiki, along with pipe and water ceremonies.
“I want to acknowledge the Elders and Knowledge Keepers who continue to support the development of this event, along with our Pathways to Healing Team for their tireless efforts to provide supports, system navigation, and advocacy for our Survivors and families,” concluded Grand Chief Daniels. “Those who have faced the brunt of colonialism and adverse effects on their health and well-being deserve the very best.”
For more information on SCO’s Pathways to Healing Program, please visit our website.
There is no cost to register for the gathering, and the event is open to all. Space is limited and last year’s event SOLD OUT in just a few days, so be sure to register soon. Please register online by January 15, 2024.
The Southern Chiefs’ Organization represents 34 First Nations and more than 85,500 citizens in what is now called southern Manitoba. SCO is an independent political organization that protects, preserves, promotes, and enhances First Nations peoples’ inherent rights, languages, customs, and traditions through the application and implementation of the spirit and intent of the Treaty-making process.
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