Winter Solstice event in the name of land based healing

OHSWEKEN — The Egowadiyadagenha’ [ung-gwai-yat-duh-gen-hah] “They Will Be helping People” Land Base Healing Centre rescheduled their free Winter Solstice Event for Friday, January 3rd, to ring in the new year as the centre is opening their department.

The event seen well over 50 community members and one of the highlights of the event were the hand crafted prizes.

“We had the door prizes that are trying to encourage the land based tools that come from our culture,” said Amber Skye, event coordinator.

Visitors were offered the chance to win one of three traditional game bundles, which included Handcrafted Lacrosse Sticks by Scott Hill and Handcrafted Floyd Harris Snow Snakes.

But the event itself stood for much more.

“This solstice event was kind of the beginning,” said Skye. “We’re launching our department so we’re just trying to bring awareness to what we’re doing with Egowadiyadagenha’ and to give the community information. But we also wanted to make the event fall more in line with what we want to do at the centre,” she said.

The event also allowed visitors to see and meet the members of Egowadiyadagenha’, which includes traditional medicine practitioners, addictions councillors, and based helpers and more.

Skye said that she felt the community response was “pretty good,” as traditional songs and dancers filled the hall after a catered meal in a social led by Cam Hill.

“The turn out was pretty good actually, we had about 60-75 people show up,” she said, explaining that out of respect for the families that lost loved ones in December, the event was rescheduled.

“We didn’t want to have a full social because there was another loss in the community, but a lot of people showed up just for the social.”

Within a pamphlet provided, Egowadiyadagenha’ is described as wanting to provide culturally safe mental health and addictions treatment services for Six Nations peoples using a combination of indigenous healing and clinical approaches in order to improve the overall health and wellness of individuals, their families and communities.

Land based healing is incorporated as it “has always been” a part of Haudenosaunee wellness and it encourages learning through critical thought and through interaction with the land.

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