Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) Launches Traditional Healers Program
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Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) Launches Traditional Healers Program

The Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) has launched a Traditional Healers Program aimed at providing greater access to traditional healing modalities for the citizens of southern First Nations in Manitoba. The launch of the program was celebrated in a ceremony held at 11 am on this morning.

SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels emphasized the importance of reclaiming wellness for indigenous communities, especially through access to traditional healing practices. “The Traditional Healers Program will help us combat the devastating impacts of colonialism by providing our citizens with safe and reliable access to healers and ceremonies,” he said.

The Traditional Healers Program aligns with SCO’s strategic direction, which focuses on providing culturally appropriate health and wellness services. The program will enable First Nations people to connect with their heritage and culture, creating an innate protective factor for those who are struggling with all forms of trauma and related health concerns.

Chief Cornell McLean of the Lake Manitoba First Nation highlighted the significant disparities between the health and wellness of First Nations people and non-First Nations people in Manitoba. He noted that the Traditional Healers Program would help address this issue, providing support for First Nations people in healing from intergenerational harms.

SCO’s new program builds upon Harm Reduction, and the Land-Based Healing Program, launched in January, supports southern First Nations. “Land-based describes a First Nations way of life rooted in traditional knowledge, where everything is connected and related to the land and water. It is a key concept for understanding First Nations’ views on mental wellness, which cannot be separated from emotional, physical, and spiritual health or the land itself.” Said the SCOs

The organization also provides harm reduction supplies, such as fentanyl test strips, nasal Narcan, and safer sex supplies, at no cost.

Traditional and cultural healing practices are holistic, treating participants’ spirit, mind, body, and emotions. The Traditional Healers Program will provide healing, wellness, counsel, and guidance to the citizens of southern First Nations. It may include traditional medicines, sweat lodges, sundances, naming ceremonies, pipe ceremonies, water ceremonies, grief/memorial ceremonies, cedar bath ceremonies, and more.

SCO is committed to combating the effects of historical trauma, systemic and institutional racism, and government policies of assimilation. The healing of indigenous Nations is supported when people receive opportunities to connect to their heritage, culture, and lands. The Traditional Healers Program is an important step towards achieving this goal and promoting health transformation for indigenous communities.

Kingston Bailey
Kingston Bailey
Words are the greatest gift a person can give to society. When constructed well, they can bring about change, revolutions and unity. They should only be used to unite and uplift.