Red Lake Community Wellness Gathering Focuses On A Positive Outlook
What was once known as the Drug and Gang Summit has taken up a new name with the hopes of bringing a more positive outlook to the drug and gang issue on the Red Lake Reservation.
For years, Red Lake Nation has dealt with a large number of gangs, drugs, suicide, and violence, but today marked the three-day start of a community that wants to make a change and see a difference.
“The chemical health programs and the Oshkiimaajitahdah come together to organize this event so we can focus on the recovery efforts that are happening in our area. So, we really want to focus on the positive things that are happening and try to get the word out there and just educate people about what’s going on,” said Red Lake Chemical Health Programs Administrative Officer Salena Beasley.
The focus of the Community Wellness Gathering is to spark an idea for change within the community as well as provide solutions and opportunities that can potentially improve lives.
“Recovery’s always been here but we want to be more out there in recovery and give the community hope, since they’re always talk about drugs and alcohol, deaths from overdoses, and like we said before, we just want to send that message of hope,” said Red Lake Chemical Health Programs Project Director Reyna Lussier.
The three-day event consists of keynote speakers who tell their personal stories and various breakout sessions that discuss focuses on recovery, culture, wellness, and healthy lifestyles.
“The most important thing as a trainer/facilitator [is] I come in to share, but you take what you need, and what you don’t you can leave or share with someone else, but that they walk, it’s kind of like, you know when you get that ‘a-ha’ moment then it really sticks, now you’re ready to really create that change for yourself and allow, and I think the other thing I also would like them to walk is the importance of their own self worth,” said Co-Facilitator Jeri Brunoe.
“This is who I am, we went for a while in life where we forgot about that part so now were bringing it back to them, and you can see the spark in them when they start learning, you can see the spark in them when they understand who they are, that they are not this person looking like a Indian, looking like a Native, they have more to it, there’s more to it than that,” said Spiritual Advisor Kelly Iceman.
The event continues tomorrow with additional breakout sessions and will end with a closing ceremony on Friday.