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Circle unbroken

Dorothy Westerman
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Mar 25/05) - The Sacred Circle project is thriving and growing in Yellowknife, thanks to the dedication of many, says its founder, Besha Blondin.

Understanding the healing power of the human sacred circle led Blondin to form the group in 2002, dedicated to healing and helping.

"All my life I've always been interested in people and how they live and their way of life," Blondin said.

The project held an open house Sunday, welcoming all people to learn more about the purpose and power of the circle.

Developing her business called Nats'eju' Dahk'e - or a place of healing - was Blondin's first step towards her goal.

She employed workers, took them out on the land and taught them how to run a healing program.

"After training, I decided to look at ways of reaching out to people more, so we started the healing circle," she said.

The resulting sacred healing circle has become a way to reach out to people on a confidential, non-judgmental basis, enabling them to talk about problems or issues they may have, Blondin said.

"I really love what I do," she said.

More than 100 people have come through to various circles, she said.

One of the key members in the project, Rita Chretien, said the philosophy behind the circle is the idea that First Nations traditions and ceremonies are powerful tools for healing.

"We use those ceremonies and practices the elders have passed onto us to facilitate healing within ourselves and anyone who comes," Chretien said.

Currently, there are four different kinds of circles in which to participate, she said.

Drumming, sewing, storytelling and a woman's traditional talking circle all are open to the public on Monday evenings, she said.

"It's all about supporting people to be on a healing path," Chretien said.

"It's been successful beyond our wildest dreams."