Students graduate from Intergenerational Trauma and Addictions Healing Program Graduation ceremonies were held Friday in Happy Valley-Goose Bay for 22 individuals who have recently completed an Inuit Intergenerational Trauma and Addictions Healing Program.
Graduation ceremonies were held Friday in Happy Valley-Goose Bay for 22 individuals who have recently completed an Inuit Intergenerational Trauma and Addictions Healing Program.
The 12-week program, offered by the Nunatsiavut Department of Health and Social Development in partnership with the Justice Institute of British Columbia and lead instructor Dr. Joe Solanto, was based on the core competencies the Nunatsiavut Government has identified for the mental health and addictions programming in Labrador Inuit communities.
“The purpose of this training was to integrate traditional Inuit knowledge and healing practices with modern approaches to counseling,” says Nunatsiavut’s Minister of Health and Social Development, Patricia Kemuksigak. “This balance of ancient wisdom and modern science was guided by the presence of eight elders and a cultural advisor throughout the program in the role of teachers, advisors, guides and support workers.”
The program consisted of 12 modules, each one week in duration, over a period of 10 months from September 2011 to June 2012. While the majority of graduates are staff members with the Department of Health and Social Development, there are some from Health Canada as well as the provincial government who have experience in helping roles and an interest in furthering skill development.
“By extending this training to individuals outside of the Department of Health and Social Development we were able to increase community capacity, partnerships and supporting individuals and families with a common understanding of intergenerational trauma and social issues within our communities,” says Minister Kemuksigak, noting that one of the unique aspects of the training program was the extensive involvement of community elders.
“Their experience, wisdom and traditional knowledge added greatly to the training program,” the Minister says. “Elders also expressed their appreciation at being asked to participate. Their understanding of intergenerational trauma, social issues and creative programming ideas to address these issues greatly increased, and it is anticipated that they will be active participants in all programming at the community level.”
Funding for program was provided by the Nunatsiavut Government, the Tasiujatsoak Trust, and the federal and provincial governments.
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