Pictou Landing First Nation and RCMP host wellness event for young women and girls
April 14, 2016
Debert, Nova Scotia
Pictou Landing First Nation and the RCMP are co-hosting an event for young women and girls this coming weekend. The event, entitled “Empowering our Youth through Promoting Wellness”, which is being held at the Debert Hospitality Centre, starts Friday afternoon and ends Sunday.
Some of the weekend activities will include drum making and dancing shawl making, discussions on peer pressure and self esteem, domestic violence, sexual assault and consent, a naming ceremony and shawl presentation, and an optional sweat lodge ceremony.
Cst. Shaylene Sutherland, a member of the Pictou County District RCMP and one of the organizers of the camp, says the goal of the camp is to help prevent violence against young women and girls by creating a culture of healthy relationships. “If we provide our youth with the necessary information to help them make healthy choices in their lives, that where positive changes start. This weekend is also to encourage positive relationships with their peers, nurturing and encouraging kinships so they will also be positive role models for the next generation”
Using culturally-appropriate teaching tools, organizers want to help youth to become empowered by utilizing the Seven Sacred Teachings, violence prevention, confidence-building, and the discovery of their own cultural identity. This knowledge will guide them throughout the camp and hopefully their lifetime.
Eighteen young women and girls, ages 12 to 18, all from Pictou Landing First Nation are participating. They were selected to attend this camp by the Planning Committee. The Committee was created by Cst. Sutherland by reaching out to the community and other agencies in hopes to involve members of the community who want to make a difference. This is the first time an event of this kind has been hosted by the Pictou Landing First Nation and the RCMP. There is hope that with the success of this camp, future camps will be held for other First Nations Communities.
Cst. Shaylene Sutherland
Pictou County District RCMP