A Tribute to Residential School Survivors

In tribute and support of residential school survivors

The alarming news confirming hundreds of unmarked graves at the former residential school on Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation near Kamloops sparked outrage this spring. It also renewed trauma for First Nations’ survivors and families of those loved ones who never returned. 

Now months later, thousands of graves have been uncovered across Canada. More are expected as First Nations’ communities continue the discovery process and determine how best to honour the memory of those who died, as well as support survivors.

Cultural Liaison Jeanette Wildman thanks those attending the tribute and shares some of history of residential schools in the Morley area.
Elder Tina Poucette shares her residential school experience

Stoney Nakoda Survivors

In Morley, there were one residential school, one orphanage on Jamieson Road east of Morley and three day school buildings, one of which is now the site of the current high school.

Stoney Health cultural liaison and residential school survivor Jeanette Wildman met with Nation Elders to determine an appropriate way to help the community grieve and continue the healing journey. 

At the Elders’ request, a tribute ceremony was scheduled in late August in advance of kids returning to school. 

Nation members were invited to share in the sacredness of a pipe ceremony and smudge.

Following the healing prayer service, Jeanette hosted a small ceremony for the larger community reflecting on her own experiences and sharing some of the atrocities and abuse that have been shared with her from family and community elders.

Survivors share experiences. Offer ways to encourage healing.

Survivors were welcome to come up and say a few words. Elder Tina Poucette and Chiniki Councilor Verna Powderface reflected on their experiences and offered insight into the community’s pain and grief.

Elder Poucette shared her perspectives on how survivors and the community might move forward. “We need a lot of healing in our communities. The social problems. The addictions, family violence…all are because of residential schools. We need to heal somehow so can learn to move forward without bitterness so that we an learn to forgive what happened to us.” 

She went on to confide, “Personally speaking, I had to learn to forgive. Forgiving someone frees you from that bondage to that person.”

After providing a brief background into Nation members distrust of non-community members, Councilor Verna Powderface spoke directly to those non-Nation members attending and advised on how to work with and in the community. She noted that “we were taught that everything is connected. That is the teaching of our ways. We lost some of our connection to the universe after contact.”

“You need to understand that intergenerational trauma extends beyond survivors to include their children and grandchildren,” she offered. “Understand that First Nation’s people are not how we choose to be. This is how we were made to be [through contact and assimilation]”. 

In closing she offered, “Try to understand and do the best you can.”

With guidance from the community, Jeanette plans to present more residential school workshops and offer survivors the opportunity to tell their stories.

A community walk is planned for National Truth and Reconciliation Day on September 30. All are welcome!

Unity and healing mark ‘Walk to Remember’

Unity and healing mark 'Walk to Remember'

The weather held out providing a great scene for A Walk to Remember marking International Overdose Awareness Day on August 31. The Mînî Thnî community gathered to remember those lives tragically lost due to overdose, and educate and build awareness about the drug epidemic facing the community. (Article continues below).

Over 70 people gathered at the Stoney Tribal Administration and listened as community elders and leaders relived their own experiences – often sharing memories of a sibling, a child or other family member who had tragically passed away. Leaders called for a grassroots approach and challenged all community members and organizations to work together to overcome the harmful effects of addiction and help those who feel alone and unable to seek the help and support they need.

“The amount of overdose deaths has been heartbreaking,” noted organizer Alanna Kaquitts who works with the crisis support team. “It’s important to continue educating all community members about reducing the stigma and promote healing. As well, we need to continually inform community members who use drugs that they are not alone. They’re loved and that there is help (if they want it).”

Help is available. Along with first responders (Nakoda Emergency Management and the RCMP), the Mînî Thnî Crisis Support team is available as a 2nd or 3rd crisis responder or offer preventative support grounded in cultural and traditional practices for Nation members.

Counselors are available to provide grief, addiction and substance use counseling and the medical team provides treatments such as suboxone to help manage addictions and free Narcan/naloxone kits to respond to an opioid overdose. Contact 403-881-3920 for information and support.

Our hearts go out to the family members who walked some clutching a photo of a loved one who had died due to opioid poisoning. Thank you for allowing us to share in your grief and pay tribute to your loved one’s memory.

Special thanks to our community leaders and partner organizations.

  • Wesley First Nation Councilors Krista Hunter and Hank Snow
  • Bearspaw First Nation Councilor Anthony Bearspaw
  • Partners from Nakoda Emergency Services, Fire and the local RCMP detachment for your support and assistance with traffic control and keeping our walkers safe on the 3.5 km journey to the Chiniki Community Kitchen
  • All other organizations and community members who participated

We pledge to work together to raise awareness and continue offering resources and support to the community.

 

Get Vaccinated

Get Vaccinated

After a few weeks of zero positive COVID cases in our community, we now have 6 cases. The need to increase our vaccination rate is more important than ever as there are reported cases of the Delta variant in Morley. Delta spreads easily between people and may lead to more serious outcomes than other versions of COVID-19. In order to protect ourselves and our community, we need to be fully vaccinated.

Vaccines gives us a high level of protection from serious illness and death from COVID-19 variants, including Delta. The more people are vaccinated, the less opportunity the virus has to spread and develop new variants.

 

Morley COVID Vaccination Information - August 2021

Our vaccination rate in Morley is very low in comparison to Alberta and Canada. Currently, nation members with ONE DOSE of vaccine is currently 63.9% and the goal is have at least 80% vaccinated with at least one dose. Only 17.5% of nation members between the ages of 12 and 17 have one dose. 46.4% of adults 18 years and older have one dose.

Nation members with TWO DOSES of vaccine is currently 46.6% and the goal is have at least 80% vaccinated. Only 10.6% of nation members between the ages of 12 and 17 have one dose. 36% of adults 18 years and older have one dose.

Encourage family members to get fully vaccinated.  

A Walk to Remember

A Walk to Remember - #EndOverdose

International Overdose Awareness Day

August 31, 2021
Join us to remember those we have lost to overdose and raise awareness about the epidemic affecting our community.
12 pm: Speakers, Lunch and Narcan Training
1 pm: Walk from STA Parking Lot to the Chiniki Community Kitchen

Please wear purple.
Call 403-881-2767 for information.

Residential School Children Tribute Ceremony

Tribute for Residential School Survivors

To honour and give respect to Morley Residential School survivors and those recently discovered in unmarked graves across the country.

Ceremony August 30
Pipe ceremony and smudge, starting at 12:30 pm
Welcome and speeches start at 1pm
Morley High School, southside (site of the former residential school)

Image credit: Andy Everson of the K’ómoks First Nation

Nakoda Head Start Open House

Nakoda Head Start Open House

Nakoda Head Start Open House

September 7, 2021
11 am – 1 pm
Head Start Building
Register, meet the staff, learning about the upcoming school year and other Stoney Health programs.
Contact 
Deanna Twoyoungmen @ 403-881-4200 for further details.


Mînî Thnî Crisis Support Open House

Mînî Thnî Crisis Team Open House

Come Out and Meet the New Mînî Thnî Crisis Support Team

Door prizes, live local band and lunch provided.

Postponed to October 14
Mînî Thnî Crisis Support Office, Chiniki College Basement

Read a little about our Mînî Thnî Crisis team members.

Questions or Concerns?
Contact Trevor Tailfeathers, Crisis Team Coordinator, 403-223-7871

Fitness Centre Reopens

Fitness Centre

Come Train With Us!

The Stoney Health Fitness Centre reopens to the community starting Monday, August 9.

Hours: 12: 00 – 4:00 pm
Open weekdays, except holidays
Bearspaw Youth Centre, 2nd floor

The Stoney Health Services Fitness Centre remains open and is unaffected by the latest public health guidelines announced September 15.

The guidelines state that “Indoor one-on-one training and solo activities are allowed with 3 metre physical distancing.”

The Fitness Centre has a maximum capacity of 3 people (plus 1 staff). Physical distancing is required at all times as well as continuous masking and sanitizing.

The Fitness Centre is open Monday to Friday from 12:00-4:00 and is open to all community members.

COVID Safety Measures in Place to Help Keep the Community Healthy and Safe

  • Reduced capacity. Limit of THREE (3) gym users at one time.  (+ 1 staff)
  • Masks required. Everyone must wear masks at all times. (Please consider low-intensity exercises.)
  • A COVID questionnaire must be completed prior to entering the gym. If you have COVID symptoms, please stay home and contact Stoney Health Services to get a COVID-19 test.
  • Space ventilation. Air conditioning or windows open depending on temperatures/air quality.
  • Hand sanitizer use and frequent cleaning/sanitizing of all equipment.
  • Bring your own water.
  • Change rooms are available for use.

Meet the Team: Mînî Thnî Crisis Support

Crisis Team Builds on Personal Experiences and Understanding to Support Community

The Mînî Thnî Crisis Team combines current and traditional 24-hour comprehensive crisis and rapid outreach services for the Morley community. 

Working alongside other Stoney Health departments and local first responders, the RCMP, the Stoney School Authority, Stoney Nakoda Child and Family services to provide mobile interventions, immediate safety and short-term support for individuals/families faced with challenging circumstances, such as family violence, grief and substance use. The MTCT support team will have the knowledge and skills required to effectively assist individuals, families and community members impacted and affected. Join us at our open house on September 1, starting at 12 pm at the Chiniki Community College.

Trevor Tailfeathers

Trevor Tailfeathers, Crisis Support Lead

Trevor was born and raised on the Blood Tribe First Nations Reserve in Southern Alberta. He was an active member with the RCMP in 2001 for fifteen years and later released on honourable medical discharge from duty. He has worked and developed strong working relationships with elders, teachers, and administrators at reserves in Hobbema (Cree), Gleichen (Blackfoot), Morley (Stoney Nation). He was a policy analyst at the Secwepemc Children and Family Services (SCFS) for the Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc First Nations Reserve in Kamloops, BC. As a policy analyst, he applied for grants through Indigenous services Canada that focused on Indigenous health and health disparity, and have been involved in financial planning, forecasting, and reporting. He has recently secured a $75,000 COVID-19 pandemic grant to address food security, internet, and mental health services to urban First Nations members and he has also advocated for system change to enhance the way we service children and their families. He is currently a crisis coordinator for Stoney Health Services where he provides rapid, effective responses to crisis situations in the community.

Alanna Kaquitts

Alanna Kaquitts, Community Outreach Liaison

Family is everything to Alanna as the oldest of six siblings and herself blessed with two beautiful children. She is all about SELF CARE and cites TV binge watching, blasting music in her car, travelling, exploring and adventure as her main ways to unwind. She's held a number of administrative roles, including most recently with the Eagles Nest Stoney Family Shelter and Hobbema Dental and completed certificates as a health care aid and medical office assistant.
She's so excited to continue in her role as community outreach liaison where she'll combine her administrative and organizations skills with her love of meeting, connecting and working with people. She notes with pride how much she's grown professionally and personally in her role and is looking forward to what's next.

Savannah Holloway

Savannah Holloway, Victim Services Support Worker

Savannah was born and raised in Morley, but spent a few years in Ontario while attending high school. She gives an equal shout out to both sides of her family - the Holloways (her mother's maiden name) and Labelles (her father's last name). An avid athlete, Savannah loves most team sports - hockey, baseball, and volleyball - and can even be found on the rodeo grounds. Savannah has worked in child and family services for several years - both in Morley and in Mackwacis - and now looks forward to tackling her new role as a crisis support worker where she can apply her creative problem solving skills and previous career experience to support the community.

Shylance Twoyoungmen

Shylance Twoyoungmen, Community Support/MTCS Mobile Worker

Pride in family is a shared theme across the Crisis team. Sharing her home with her partner and stepson, Shylance (prefers Shy) comes from a large family who tragically lost a brother earlier this year due to illness. She is also a proud member of the two-spirit family in the community and is fluent in Stoney.

Maintaining an active lifestyle appeals to Shy - getting outdoors, hunting, fishing and hiking - all top her list of hobbies. She also attributes sports and physical fitness to her determination, discipline and patience. She's most excited about 'being challenged mentally and emotionally' in her new role. Adding, "Being able to help my community and give support to the Nation. It's not enough to simply say 'I'm a great fit for the role,' I also see an opportunity to learn and grow these skills."

Meet the Team: Environmental Health

Ensuring a safe, healthy water supply

Jerott Mark and Andrew Kaquitts, Stoney Health Service's environmental health technicians, assess a well spout on a Stoney property.

Environmental health technicians’ Jerott Mark and Andrew Kaquitts joined Stoney Health Services in late 2020 and began a several-months’ long water monitoring project, with funding provided by Environment Canada.

Stoney Health Services is taking drinking water samples from all homes on the reserve, which are then tested to ensure a safe, healthy community water supply. As part of the testing, Jerrot and Andrew also locate, assess and survey the homes’ cistern or well, and the septic field to determine future maintenance requirements.

Both technicians bring years of carpentry experience, a strong understanding of plumbing and water systems and importantly, a love of their community.

When asked what they hope comes from their work, Jerott spoke up, “to see water systems that need to upgraded get done.”

Andrew added, “Good clean, drinking water. I want better drinking water for everyone.” 

The crew expect to complete testing on the Chiniki First Nation (southside of the Trans-Canada Highway) this summer and plan to move  the homes on the centre and northside of the reserve this fall and early winter. Their work doesn’t depend on the weather – they are on the road rain, shine, smoky days or snow (yikes, let’s not mention that yet.)

Find out more about the environmental water monitoring project and check out the photo gallery for a sample of their workday.

Stoney Childcare Centre Reopens

Stoney Childcare Centre Reopens Aug. 4

After closing during COVID, the Stoney First Nation Childcare Centre is reopen for local families starting August 4.

Infants from 3 months to children 5 years of age are welcome to enroll. Space is limited and reserved for parents or caregivers who work or attend school.

Contact Francine Kaquitts, daycare director at 403-808-4169 or francinek@stoney-nation.com.

Well-Baby Drop-In Clinics

Weekly Well-Baby Drop-In Clinics

Join our Well-Baby team on Wednesdays. Chat with a nurse or our family support assistants about you or your baby’s specific needs, get diapers, wipes and other resources and have your baby weighed.

Open to Stoney families with infants to children 5 years of age. 

Wednesdays
12:00 – 3:00 pm
Family Resource Centre, Wesley Lodge

Refreshments are available.

Don’t Wait. Get Tested for Hepatitis. It may save your life.

Hep Can't Wait. Don't Wait to Get Tested.

Did you know? Every 30 seconds someone loses their life to hepatitis – don’t be one of them. Don’t wait. Get tested today. 

World Hepatitis Day is July 28. All week long (July 26-30), Stoney Health Service’s is encouraging the community to get a hepatitis test. It could save your life. We were pleased to see so many people drop in and get tested.

Testing is available year-round at the Stoney Health Centre or the Stoney Health Service’s Trailer during business hours. 

If you think you’ve been exposed, here are five reasons to get tested right away:
1. You can have the disease even if you feel fine.
2. The test is quick and easy.
3. You can protect your family and friends.
4. Treatments can suppress or even wipe out the virus.
5. Early treatment can help you prevent liver cancer or liver failure. Source: 5 Reasons to Get Tested for Hepatitis C, WebMD

Vaccination clinic schedule

Vaccination Squad Schedule

The Stoney Health Vax Squad is offering walk-in vaccinations at the Health Centre.

Tuesdays and Thursdays 
11 am – 4 pm
No appointment required. Walk-ins welcome.

There will be two Saturday vaccination clinics offered October 23 & November 6 at the Stoney Health Centre from 10 am – 4 pm. Catch up on your vaccinations – flu shots, COVID vaccines and any other vaccine you may require.

Get your 1st, 2nd or 3rd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine (available to First Nations, Inuit and Metis Peoples 65+ and people with immunocompromised conditions). 

Flu immunizations are offered for babies from 6 months to seniors. 

Getting vaccinated helps protect yourself, your loved ones, Elders and others in the community.