Healing Tipi added to Indigenous Mental Health Cultural Grounds at North Bay Regional Health Centre

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Indigenous patients at the North Bay Regional Health Centre (NBRHC) have a new welcoming place to practice their culture and connect to their Spirit and their environment. The tipi opening held Tuesday included a prayer and cultural grounds acknowledgement by NBRHC.

Peter Beaucage, Elder, Nipissing First Nation shared an opening prayer, teaching and blessing for the new tipi. “Everyone has the right to be who they are because our Creator sends us here to live our lives to the best of our abilities. It reflects the grounds where people of all races can participate with the spirit,” shared Beaucage.

Tipi opening

Paul Heinrich, NBRHC President and CEO says the tipi will bring Indigenous patients together to offer healing through culture. “Our Regional Aboriginal Mental Health Service (RAMHS) provides culturally responsive supports to Indigenous patients at our Health Centre. We know from our patients that spaces like these are integral to their wellness and recovery.”

A patient currently receiving care at NBRHC says being able to practice their culture while undergoing treatment is meaningful and they feel at peace when they are in the cultural space. “Elders visit with their bundles and teach us in the tipi, giving us the opportunity to connect with the earth and our community,” the patient shared. “I feel it’s extremely important for patients to help us connect to our roots and identify as Indigenous people.”

The new tipi was made possible through donations and sponsorships, proceeds from the Minweyaang Round Dance held earlier this year. Leadership sponsors are Bell Let’s Talk, Chester’s Gas Bar and North Shore Convenience.

New Tipi

“When our mind gets sick we need to heal it, and in our culture that is done through connecting with our spirit, our environment and our community. The tipi is a safe place that represents these things and will allow patients to begin their wellness journey in a culturally significant way. Our sponsorship for the tipi is a meaningful way to enhance the care experience for all patients, while ensuring our Indigenous brothers and sisters and remain connected to our culture.” said Edgar Goulais, North Shore Convenience and Chester’s Gas Bar.

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Contact:
Tammy Morison
President & CEO
NBRHC Foundation
705-840-9412
Tammy.morison@nbrhc.on.ca

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