Message from the Chief – June 28th 2024

Message from the Chief - June 28, 2024

The subject of identity can be a very difficult one. As a result of colonization, many Indigenous people struggle with loss of language, ceremony and connection to their community.

We do our best to raise our youth with values rooted in respect; respect for ourselves and others. But as Indigenous people, many of have been victims of intergenerational trauma. Trauma caused by colonization, forced assimilation, and systemic discrimination has had a devastating effect on many Indigenous people, leading to extremely high rates of mental health issues, family violence and addictions.

The word resilient is used often in relation to Indigenous people. The Cambridge dictionary defines resilience as “the ability to be happy, successful, etc. again after something difficult or bad has happened”.  It is difficult to accept inherited trauma; to not become stuck in a state of frustration and hurt over things that we did not ask for or have no control over.

We can only control how we live our own lives. Time is so precious, we should do our best to make a positive impact, to leave behind something that we can be proud of.  If we decide to only look back, we will never go forward. There must be a healthy balance between the past and present. Learning from our history paves a way for a better future.

Social media continues to be a place of information sharing which is valuable, but it can also foster conversations that breed hate and disrespect. Ultimately, we have a choice: we can engage and tear one another down, or we can break the cycle by scrolling past things that seek to hurt others. There is so much power in rising above. We can exercise empathy, knowing that hurt people will often hurt other people and when we feed these negative conversations, we are holding each other back from healing, because quite often, hate has more to do with things we cannot see.  We can be strong knowing that we can control our reactions to the actions of others. The best way to silence hate is not to feed it.

We can be described using a variety of words: resilient is one, but there are so many other beautiful words to describe who we are. Indigenous people are more than our trauma, more than our biggest mistakes, more than the effects of colonialism. Being kind to ourselves and to others requires far less energy than hate and it results in progress.  There is room for hurt and pain as we are human, and life comes with struggles and hardship but if we support one another; we can break cycles of trauma and restore pride in who we are. There is no harm to be done by smiling, you may even make someone’s day brighter.

If you or someone you know is suffering from mental health issues, please remember there are resources available to you including:

If in Danger: Call 911
Emergency line 24/7 referral service: Call 211
Mental Health & Addictions Crisis Line 24/7: Call 811
Mental Health & Addictions Triage: Call 1-844-353-3330
Mental Heal & Addictions System Navigator: Call 1-877-999-7589
Doorways/Bridge The Gap ages 12 & up: Call 709-752-4903 or online @
Provincial Lifewise Warmline 10am-12am 7 days/week: Call 1-855-753-2560
Crisis Text Line for Youth: Text “ Talk” or “wellness” to 686868
Crisis Text Line for Adults: Text “Talk” or Wellness” to 741741
Sexual Assault Crisis Line: Call 1-800-726-2743
Talk Suicide Canada 24/7: Call 1-833-456-4566
NNADP National Native Alcohol & Drug Abuse Program: Call 902-742-4337
First Nations & Inuit Hope For Wellness: Call 1-855-242-3310
2SLGBTQIA + Warmline Mon-Fri 1pm-6pm & 6pm-12am. Sat-Sun 6pm-12am: Call or text: 1-866-230-8041
Mental Wellness Navigator Qalipu First Nation: Call 709-679-2238