Young man ask elders to show the way home

by Sophie Evan on December 7, 2012

Rose Domnick leads Cleansing Ritual, photo by Sophie Evan

A three day traditional healing conference wrapped up in Bethel Thursday. The event held discussions and teachings on ways to heal multi-generational traumatic events and how to start the healing journey. Participants, including YKHC’s behavioral health aides, left with a general idea of where to go with this information and how to use traditional healing in their own lives and villages too.

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The last day started with the sharing of life changing experiences and the resulting side effects. Some examples included; surviving orphanages which led to children growing up with dysfunctional parenting skills when they have children of their own. And surviving the aftermath of a loved one who committed suicide. There were also discussions of healthy parenting and coping with loss. Elders shared simple effective ways to cope such as verbalizing the hurt to a person, pet, or plant. It might seem simple, but it is an exercise that is very effective.

Many conference participants who took personal responsibility of their own losses by breaking the cycles of alcoholism, child abuse and despair shared their stories as well. Conference organizer, Rose Domnick said that a hurt person has the potential to become a powerful healer.

The main message of the conference was to experience personal healing first before offering healing help to others. That’s the seed of Calrircaraq or healthy living which has to be planted in our people’s minds, nurtured, and allowed to bloom and seed again.

One of the next steps suggested is to get everyone in the community to agree and buy into the traditional healing method of Calrircaraq. Then the village can begin their own journey by identifying their own unique strengths and ways to solve their problems. Elder Peter Jimmy encouraged everyone to treasure the information learned at the conference and put the learning into practice.

A young man in his 30’s, Gux Laraux, summed it up by saying that he was taught to hunt and fish all over our area, into the mountains, down to the coast, and that in all instances the most important lesson was how to return home. Laraux asked the elders to teach him and his peers how to return home to the Calricaraq or traditional way of healthy living.

Sophie Evan KYUK news.

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