Wechetowin Update

copied from the September edition of The Rupert’s Land News

Indigenous spirituality course launched

To help survivors of the residential schools, Rupert’s Land Wechetowin Inc. encouraged the creation of a two-year diploma program “Indigenous Spirituality and Pastoral Care”, at the University of Winnipeg that will train students to offer pastoral and spiritual care in jails, hospitals, long term care residences and missions. The first students are being accepted this year, many with bursary support.

To help residential school survivors, Wechetowin encouraged the creation of a two-year diploma program “Indigenous Spirituality and Pastoral Care” at the University of Winnipeg.

The program is accessible to First Nations who may have been out of the educational system for some time. Manitoba is currently the only province in Canada that is developing a Spiritual Care component of the health care system. Acting Executive Director Ko’ona Cochrane says “Wechetowin is working with the Diocese for a Sacred Circle in September. We’re going to be procuring some youth from the Canada World Youth Program, students from Kenya and Canada who will learn more about the legacy of residential schools. I have a plan put together for them to spend three days a week working with us and learning about the work Wechetowin does. We are a grassroots initiative that helps people navigate through the urban environment.”

Walking With Wechetowin

All of the programs designed by Wechetowin are intended to address healing, wellness and reconciliation.

Wechetowin board members are also preparing their second annual Walking With Wechetowin walk-athon. Wechetowin is a Cree word for “People Helping People” as it is a grassroots organization started by individuals reaching out to those in need. Formed in 2006 by the Rupert’s Land Aboriginal Circle, Wechetowin offers more than pastoral care for Aboriginal people. All of the programs designed by Wechetowin are intended to address healing, wellness and reconciliation. This is done holistically from restorative justice education to ‘people helping people’ directly visiting hospitals and institutions giving others hope.

This year the “Walking With Wechetowin” fundraiser on Sept 24 will be a 10 km walk within Winnipeg. Cochrane says “Last year we walked 30 kms from Winnipeg to Selkirk. The walk is intended to help bring awareness for those who have charted a course for healing, as many Aboriginal people have struggled with issues of addiction and high rates of recidivism, we can now see positive change happening.”

Sponsorship forms are available through the office, to join Walking With Wechetowin or learn more about their endeavours,
please call 204-582-0130 or e-mail wechetowin@stjohnscathedral.ca