History and Healing – Winnipeg Free Press


In recent years, a great deal of attention has been given to Aboriginal issues in our Canadian landscape.

For example, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and its 2015 report helped draw attention to the grim reality of the horrific treatment of students in residential schools and the many unmarked graves discovered at residential school sites across Canada.

These findings and others have initiated a major shift in the thinking of ordinary Canadian citizens and businesses. Finally, there is a growing respect for Aboriginal history, culture and language. Lectures, speeches and meetings are often opened with acknowledgments of land where participants are reminded that they are meeting on historic treaty territory.

Elders and Knowledge Keepers are invited to hold information sessions in the workplace and more organizations are beginning to train their employees on Indigenous history and Calls to Action for Truth and reconciliation. The goal of today’s leaders is to help employees understand and learn the importance of renewing our relationship with Indigenous peoples. Finally, organizations are seriously considering how their policies and procedures might impede the recruitment and retention of Indigenous people within their employee group.

Recently, a group of Aboriginal leaders, including Jennefer Nepinak, Diane Roussin and Mary Jane Brownscombe, addressed attendees at the Institute of Corporate Directors luncheon, where they stressed the importance of educating board members of directors on aboriginal history.

They also highlighted the importance of including Indigenous peoples and perspectives at the decision-making table. This would lead to the creation of healthier systems, as well as the ability to harness the enormous potential of the indigenous population.

Other companies, such as banks, credit unions, and universities, have made significant efforts to support Aboriginal awareness and business development, while providing services that enhance Aboriginal well-being. These reconciliation-based efforts are good for business, as Canada’s Indigenous economy itself is expected to surpass $100 billion over the next five years.

There has also been a major shift and strong resurgence among Indigenous groups themselves as they proudly and publicly claim and celebrate their culture through powwows, sun dances, horse races and competitions. of dance. Indigenous language classes are filling up as individuals seek opportunities to rediscover and/or learn their traditional language. Health, social and education service organizations are now led by Indigenous professionals who integrate language, culture and ways of being into everything they do.

Jennifer Oborne Crolly is a settler born in Treaty 1 territory who has spent years building relationships with and serving Indigenous communities. Jennifer is a small business owner and entrepreneur who is expanding her organization, Energetic Explorations Ltd., to better and more broadly serve Indigenous peoples and organizations.

Oborne Crolly’s ancestors came from England, Ireland and Sweden and arrived in these lands between 1647 and 1901. Some were involved in governance, including the creation of the Dominion of Canada in 1867.

Reflecting on this colonial history, Oborne Crolly’s mind turns to the sorely missed opportunity for settlers to learn and integrate Indigenous wisdom. Now, 155 years later, and a year after the announcement of the children’s graves at the site of the Kamloops Indian Residential School, she wonders, “Who could we have become as a nation, and who would we could be still?

Oborne Crolly thanks Indigenous friends, teachers, and the ceremonial community for the experiences that influenced his sensitivity and concern for Indigenous peoples and his understanding of the systemic issues created by colonization.

In 2003, she was taken into the Indigenous Ceremonial Community, which validated her identity as a healer and began intensive training in Indigenous ways of knowing and being, the historical experience of Indigenous parenting, and service in the community. native.

These experiences drive her to ensure that her business aligns with reconciliation and healthy relationships between Indigenous people and settlers.

Over the past 28 years and in many contexts, Oborne Crolly has listened to, learned from and helped Indigenous and non-Indigenous people on their healing journeys. She was an educator and a student services teacher in the public school system, which brought her awareness to issues of intergenerational trauma in the classroom.

Having left the school system, Oborne Crolly continues to offer in-person and group healing support through innovative holistic modalities at his company Energetic Explorations Ltd.

The call for reconciliation is one that Oborne Crolly hears and strives to uphold in his life and business. She views this as “thank you in action” for the friendships and gifts received from the Indigenous community, and expands her healing practice to offer effective and cost-effective wellness supports for educators and social service workers, giving special attention to supporting Aboriginal parents. and the goals of reconciliation.

Oborne Crolly built his business on values ​​learned in ceremonial circles, such as generosity, reciprocity, honesty, kindness, ecology, the sanctity of all life, and the honor of women, to say the least. to name a few. Its business model is based on the principle of “two-eyes seeing” which seeks to engage the best of indigenous and colonial methods.

His business makes day-to-day decisions with these questions in mind:

● Are indigenous peoples served by our presence here?

● Are we behaving in a way that is consistent with a healthy relationship?

● Where is the indigenous voice in decision-making, and what does that voice say?

● How do we engage in social and economic reconciliation?

● Are we a good parent and/or ally?

Former Senator Murray Sinclair recently said at the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce’s Road to Reconciliation luncheon that there are many benefits for businesses to get involved and have an action plan on reconciliation, saying, “You will not only become better companies, you will become better humans. , too.”

Oborne Crolly can see the truth in Sinclair’s words and creates and follows his own personal path to reconciliation. His healing service applies a combination of intercultural methodologies combined with the goal of helping others to heal themselves. In my view, Oborne Crolly is indeed a leader in the growing movement to incorporate the wisdom of other cultures into mental health practices.

Barbara J. Bowes, FCPHR, B.Ed, M.Ed, CCP is a human resources professional, author, radio personality, speaker, executive coach, and workshop leader. She can be contacted at barb@bowesleadership.com


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