Perhaps the most extraordinary experience of recovery and wellness has been witnessed within First Nations communities in Canada (also as known as Aboriginals or Native Americans). Since 2008 over 750 First Nations people have experienced The Journey in Saskatewan and Labrador.
The history of social abuse is similar to stories of Aboriginal people all over the world. Suicide rates and abuse of self and others are among the highest within these communities. The Canadian Federal Government has spent millions of dollars attempting to remedy the situation for First Nations people and still success has been marginal.
Over the time that First Nations people have experienced The Journey joy and laughter have become more commonplace in their hearts and in their communities. The amount of pain and suffering that has been cleared has set the stage for deeper freedom. These are a people that are ready to let go of their past emotional pain and heal, ready to be happy, and willing to to do what it takes and make a leap to get there. There are no pretenses here…they are willing to splay themselves wide open in vulnerability, exposure and emotions so raw that it is inspiring to witness the determination and commitment they have for wholeness.
Aboriginal Peoples’ Television Network (APTN) synchronistically was in Natuashish at the same time of our visit in June 2009. They captured, on film, the beauty of the group’s tireless desire to clear any emotional traumas preventing them from feeling joyful. The filmmakers’ comments about their experience working with the Innu gave objective confirmation of the healing that has and continues to take place in Natuashish. Testimonials from some of the delegates brought the film crew to tears. It truly is humbling to be in the presence of such bravery while in the throes of fear and grief. This half hour film, called “Close to Home,” will hopefully be aired in the fall of 2010.
Since 2001 The Journey North America has been providing training for working with children, focusing on the self first and how to help dissolve the unconscious separation and internal barriers that can impact a child's ability to learn effortlessly, joyously and effectively. The instruction has been received by over 600 people working with children and teaches a variety of skills that can be used with children of all ages. It also give educators an opportunity to “recharge their personal batteries.”
In 2009 The Journey Intensive, Advanced Skills, and Liberating Kids Shining Potential workshops were combined and accredited for 40 clock hours of continuing education called Teachers for Transformation. This program is offered yearly in Washington State and soon will also be provided in Washington DC, Denver CO, and other locations. After receiving the training, teachers may request in-classroom assistance from Journey Outreach. Feedback and results from using the Journey in the Classroom in the United States and Canada has been phenomenal. Journey Outreach also assists teachers in collecting informative data about improvements in academics, referrals, attendance, and social-emotional wellness.
The Junior Journey Program was created in Australia specifically to provide Journey workshops to teenagers so they can work with and support each other. It has recently grown to also be offered in the United States and Canada. The program has been extremely successful in attracting young people and empowering them to help themselves and others through the challenges and pressures of school and early adulthood. It has helped many youth to claim back their lives, recover from suicidal tendencies, and feel healthy and whole again.
Children’s Global Peace Project
Colorado State University
Friday Night Yoga Club
Inter-American Dev Bank (IDB)
Microfinance Without Borders
University of KwaZulu-Natal
Innu…meaning ‘human being’ are a group of approximately 2200 indigenous people, known as the Innu of Sheshatshiu and Natuashish (previously referred to as the Montagnais and Naskapi/Mushuau tribes respectively) of Labrador, NFLD, Canada. Sheshatshiu Innu reside predominately in Sheshatshiu while the Mushuau Innu inhabit the settlement now known as Natuashish (formerly located in Davis Inlet). Other pockets of Innu settlements can be found scattered throughout parts of Labrador, on the main island of Newfoundland and throughout areas of eastern Quebec. Living in such isolated areas of Canada has provided the Innu with both opportunities and hardships as these nomadic people have shifted from a more independent, traditional lifestyle to one of co-dependence.