Workshop topics

Les Gardiens des Saisons offers a workshop on health and wellness through an Indigenous lens

By Haley Grinder
Journalist Local Journalism Initiative

A four-day virtual professional and personal development workshop was successfully concluded last week. The objective was to promote health and well-being by approaching it from an indigenous perspective. Keepers of the Seasons was in charge of the event, teaching attendees self-care techniques and wellness planning strategies with the overall message of how to live happily with and for the land around us.

Darcy and Jenny Fisher, partners and owners of Keepers of the Seasons, say the inspiration behind the workshops first started as a way to share ancestral knowledge and help young people and community members. However, the increased social isolation and mental health issues that arose during the COVID-19 pandemic caused the couple to shift gears slightly, focusing more on how they could bring this knowledge and experience to communities. natives themselves.

The workshop was performed virtually from Montana, USA. However, the invitation was extended to those in the Columbia Valley, as Darcy is a member of the Akisqnuk Nation and a former member of the Band Council.

It was offered in four 1.5 hour sessions on November 30, December 2, December 7 and December 9 and was open to anyone interested in learning more about the traditional Indigenous culture of health and wellness. Teachings focused on topics such as eco-immersion, plant knowledge, land stewardship, and the natural law of reciprocity.

Darcy and Jenny share the importance of eco-immersion on mental well-being. “It’s being able to immerse yourself in the earth while remembering and honoring our ancestral knowledge,” says Darcy. “To be able to have this connection with who we are genetically while knowing that part of the knowledge of plants, our language and our culture lives in our genes. It is therefore this ability to awaken these teachings and to be able to transmit them to our children.

The duo also emphasize the idea that “it takes a village” to alleviate mental health issues within a community, which is why they decided to teach long term strategies within the. workshop. They want to publish a book on connectivity, seasonal foraging, and storytelling early next year.

Keepers of the Seasons is also responsible for hosting the virtual storytelling event later this month.