Healing Walk: Raising Awareness Around Substance Poisoning
Time: 08:30 am
Location: Mannawanis Friendship Centre 4901 50 St, St. Paul, AB T0A 3A4
Name of Organisation:
Contact: Chantel E. Gladue
After losing my brother in July 2021 to substance poisoning and having people accuse me of being ashamed, I knew I had to do something to change that narrative. I knew I was not ashamed and it made me think of other families that have experienced the same type of loss. Organizing an awareness walk that would catch people’s attention was my first thought. As an Indigenous woman, protocol is to wait one year before a person is able to honor their loved one. After the year had passed, my group and I walked from Bonnyville AB to Edmonton AB to raise awareness around substance poisoning. This year, we wanted to walk from Lloydminster AB to Edmonton AB, however due to our hectic schedules. We chose to make our annual walk an annual day walk that will take place in St Paul AB.
Although walking from one town/city to another is a thoughtful idea, as a group, it is important to focus on our communities which is the 7 Nations (Saddle Lake First Nation, Kehewin First Nation, Frog Lake First Nation, Cold Lake First Nation, Beaver Lake First Nation, Onion Lake First Nation, and Goodfish Lake First Nation). The 7 Nations surround the Lakeland area, which why we chose St Paul as a location to host our awareness walk.
Our Goal: to honor our loved ones that we have lost to substance poisoning; allow other families who have experienced losing a loved one to substance poisoning understand that they are not alone; end the stigma that surrounds substance poisoning by educating the community, and work as a community to fight against substance abuse.
Event will begin with a pipe ceremony that will take place at the Mannawanis Centre for 9am
The walk will start at Co-op parking lot at 10 am, that will lead down main street, and end at the UFO Landing Pad
Open Mic will start at 11am with our keynote speakers, then mic will be given to the public to share their voice on the issue.
Event will close with a BBQ at the Mannawanis Centre for 3pm