We would like to extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to the families and communities affected by the recent devastating events in James Smith Cree Nation and Weldon, Saskatchewan. Our hearts and thoughts are with you during this extremely difficult time. We wish everyone strength as they embark on their healing journey.
As a result of the recent events in James Smith Cree Nation, we have witnessed an increase in misinformation, stigma, and a lack of understanding of Indigenous people involved in the justice system in the media and online. The First Peoples Wellness Circle (FPWC) recognizes the existence of systemic racism in Canadian justice systems that continues to cause harm to First Nation, Métis and Inuit. We also acknowledge the socioeconomic factors and discrimination within these systems that directly result from colonialism and lead to an overrepresentation of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit. Perpetuating misinformation and myths about Indigenous people and the justice system exacerbates discrimination and racism that negatively impacts the mental well-being of First Nation, Métis and Inuit people. We encourage you to ‘Soar Above Stigma’ by standing up and correcting misinformation, showing compassion, kindness and acceptance. We understand that supporting mental wellness, the families, and the communities affected during this time is of utmost importance and our primary focus. FPWC works to support Indigenous mental wellness teams and their leadership to make systems change to improve outcomes for Indigenous peoples.
If you find yourself overwhelmed or distressed about misinformation perpetuated online, we encourage you to practice self care, limit time on social media, and remember that showing compassion, kindness and acceptance allows us to “Soar Above Stigma”.
Below are some resources that we have compiled to promote self-care and wellness:
- Self-care 101 (School of Mental Health Ontario)
- Six ways to practice self-care (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health)
- Self Care Medicine Wheel (Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters)
- Medicine Wheel for Self-care (Native Women’s Association of Canada)
- Mental Health Crisis Hotlines (Seafarer’s International Union of Canada)
- Mental Health (Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay)
- NWAC Elder Support Line | Canada-Wide
Available Monday-Friday 9AM-11AM EST & 1PM-3PM EST