The Season of Rebirth:

A Day of Indigenous Health & Wellness

March 19, 2021

A Virtual Wellness Gathering featuring the wisdom and lived-experiences of Indigenous Healers, Leaders, Elders and Artists.

Ideal for individuals impacted by serious illness, grief and loss and those who care for and about them.


The Season of Rebirth

First Nations people across Canada have long been disproportionately and deeply impacted by grief and loss in their communities. The global pandemic has further compounded this situation: creating deep wells of social isolation, heightened anxiety, stress and painful separation from cultural traditions, family gatherings and rituals that are an integral part of First Nations healing and wellness practices.

At the Camp Kerry Society, we have long- believed that there is a direct correlation between our ability to respond to traumatic events with courage and resilience, and our experience of being embedded in a nurturing community.

We invite you to join members of our team alongside four incredible Indigenous Elders/Leaders/Healers/Artists  as we gather in community for a day of rebirth and renewal that will provide insight, knowledge and inspiration for all those seeking light in the darkness of grief and hope for the future.  








Speaker Sessions

Each virtual session will occur for one hour. Participants are welcome to attend one or as many as they prefer. After each session space will be held for socialization, breaks, and further discussion.

Joe Keesickquayash 9am PST 12pm EST 1pm AST
Shirley David 10:30am PST 1:30pm EST 2:30pm AST
Thomas Terry 12:30pm PST 3:30pm EST 4:30pm AST
Jo-Anne Gottfriedson 2pm PST 5pm EST 6pm AST

Joe Keesickquayash

Joe Keesickquayash, is of Ojibway and Cree background from Mishkeegogamang Ontario, and Red Sucker Lake, Manitoba. He is a father of five and has one grandchild. Joe graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in Indigenous Studies and History. Currently Joe is working towards starting his own Indigenous craft business, and attends traditional ceremonies throughout the year.

In 2017, Joe and his family experienced the loss of their three year old son, who was born with a rare genetic condition During his son’s odyssey, Joe and his family remained hopeful that a diagnosis would be found to bring understanding to their son’s medical journey, and more so, to help support their grief journey. 

Although the path to find a diagnosis was challenging as a father, Joe hopes that by sharing his grief journey, and his traditional approaches to understanding grief, he can help others who are experiencing grief and loss.


My Grief Journey

9am PST, 12pm EST, 1pm AST

Joe will share some of his experiences of being a husband, father, and grandfather and how his traditional teachers have helped him to overcome loss.

Shirley David
Therapist/Cultural Teacher

Shirley David (MISW), originally from the Gitxsan/Witset First Nation, she grew up with the Secwepemc people.

Shirley graduated with Master of Indigenous Social Work (MISW) and Bachelor of Indigenous Social Work (BISW). She has Addictions Counselor Certificate; Aboriginal Life Skills Facilitator Certificate; Aboriginal Trauma Certificate. She also completed courses/programs from the Justice Institute of British Columbia.

Shirley has over 40 years of professional and Traditional /cultural teachings not only came from the western teachings, but also from Spiritual and Cultural Teachers and Elders.

Shirley is qualified and experienced in both Traditional Indigenous based teachings and contemporary western base teachings.

Shirley is the RHSW /Therapist with Indian Residential School Survivors Society for the past 10 years.


Self-care & Wellness with the Medicine Wheel

10:30am PST, 1:30pm EST, 2:30pm AST

Thomas Terry
Language/Cultural Teacher

Hello everyone I am Emhalhtsa7 , other wise known as Thomas Terry. I was born and raised St’at’imc and am proud of it. I am culturally strong due to my upbringing within our culture, hearing the language and songs throughout my life. I have been a Language/Culture Teacher for 6 years but have been doing it all my life. Am a hand drummer, a Bear dancer, still learning St’at’imc. Clean and sober for 23 years


Traditional Singing and Dancing

12:30pm PST, 2:30pm EST, 3:30pm AST

Jo-Anne Gottfriedson
Resident Elder & Educator – Camp Kerry Society

“Weytk ren skwest es Kiye’y7e Qwisp Nu’xwenxw ell Jo-Anne Gottfriedson Tk’emlu’psemc te Secwepemc. I am extremely proud to be Tk’emlu’psemc. I am a proud mother of two daughters, and a grandmother of five grandsons and a beautiful granddaughter. I also have many adopted children and grandchildren from various nations across the country. I am married to Reverend James Isbister from the Cree Nation, Ahtahakakoop Sandy Lake, Saskatchewan.”

Jo-Anne was educated at Simon Fraser University. She is a Certified Provincial Adult Instructor and a member in good standing with the BC College of Teachers. She instructed the Secwepemc language and culture at the Sk’elep School of Excellence for five years, was a faculty member at the Nicola Valley Technology Institute in Merritt, BC and an Instructor for Aboriginal Tourism BC. Most recently she worked with the First Nations Health Authority as part of a team who developed and taught the Indigenous End-Of-Life Guide Program, offered in partnership with the Continuing Education Department at Douglas College. For the past 11 years she was also the Executive Chair of the Day Scholar Certified Class Action for Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc, Sechelt First Nation and James Cree.

Jo-Anne credits her traditional education to the persistence and commitment of her parents, grandparents and various other Elders and teachers. Her accomplishments are testimony to her belief that formal education compliments traditional education, and that the traditions, beliefs, teaching and language of her ancestors is just as, or more important than any other education she has received. “My commitment and respect for my culture and traditions is of the utmost importance in all aspects of my life … I not only teach it, but live it with my family, community and nation.”

One Journey Ends and Another Begins: How Indigenous Cultural Ways Can Light a Path Towards Healing in Grief

2pm PST, 5pm EST, 6pm AST

Join Tk’emlu’psemc Elder Jo-Anne Gottfriedson as she shares the various and diverse ways that Indigenous people journey through grief after the loss of a loved one. She will discuss the significant impact that Colonialism has had on Indigenous cultural ways and acknowledge the many benefits that traditional Indigenous beliefs, teachings and rituals can offer to someone who is grieving. In this workshop, participants will gain knowledge of Indigenous practices that are supportive to the grief journey. Jo-Anne’s work is rooted in her belief that all life is precious, and in her conviction that it is possible to find peace as we face death, and as we develop the courage to live in a world without the physical presence of our loved ones.

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