Healing gathering studied at Kakisa assembly

by Arthur Milnes
Northern News Services

NNSL (Sep 05/97) - Delegates at last week's Deh Cho First Nations assembly discussed plans for a residential school healing gathering slated for Fort Providence later this month.

Margaret Thom, who is co-ordinating the gathering, told the Drum that she was pleased with the frank discussion among delegates after she and other members of the gathering's planning circle made their presentation.

Set for Sept. 15-19, the gathering will help former students of the Sacred Heart residential school in Fort Providence deal with issues in their lives arising out of their experiences at the school.

"It was excellent," she said of the response she received. "There had been some denial as to what happened but this is quite normal. It's the same as a few years ago (with) the alcohol issue."

Though she said some elders are not sure how they want to deal with their feelings, she had the sense that a spiritual gathering could be in the works.

"They wanted a spiritual gathering," she said. "I guess they (elders) felt there was a need to do something."

Thom also said that plans for the gathering will now proceed to the next stage.