Aboriginal Health Program - Program Philosophy
Elder Little Brown Bear (Ernest W. Matton, Athehsa Niohkwá:rita:a), is the Director of Aboriginal Education, Programs, Culture and The Aboriginal Healing Program. He believes that being Aboriginal is a way of life, not a life style and the strong cultural foundation of the program provides a safe confidential environment for which community members (clients) can explore current and past unresolved issues that need to be addressed to help them on their healing. Elder Little Brown Bear’s philosophy is but a simple one:
People don’t care how much you know they want to know how much you care.
It’s a well-known fact that Trauma, Mental well-being (health) issues, the use/misuse/abuse of mood altering alternatives, the blood memory of multi inter-generational impact as a result of residential/day schools, misplaced anger, gambling, eating disorders, unresolved conflicts, poor or lack of parenting skills, unhealthy boundaries/ relationships, loss of language/songs/dance/culture, lack of respectful communications, loss/lack of traditional practices/teachings/ceremonies, co-dependency, spiritual, sexual, physical, emotional abuse and other unhealthy destructive behaviors may develop if left unresolved or mismanaged, which can lead to continued negative consequences for individuals, families, communities and our nation.
We believe that every person is a good person and more often than not, individuals with diagnosed or undiagnosed issues may experiment with mood altering alternatives such as street or prescription drugs, alcohol, food, gambling or sex in order to cope or to experience freedom from their emotional and/or spiritual pain. This may lead to unhealthy life styles or the development of difficulties with the justice system, school system and family system. Community members may develop signs of depression, anxiety, isolation, self-harm, social problems, relationship difficulties, unresolved anger, low self-esteem, poor life skills, coping strategies and problem solving.
During their time in the program we raise awareness through individual/couples/family healing (counselling), group sessions, sharing/healing/talking circles, through the blending of Aboriginal Teachings with Western information, to help develop and create realistic goal setting to help provide balance and harmony with the medicine/peoples wheel, and to walk with the Seven Grandfather Teachings in order to provide healthy options through a mutually agreed upon plan of care for those who want to create a lasting change through individual and spiritual growth. A variety of topics are explored during their time at the program including cultural traditional ceremonies and activities while on their healing path.