Community Winter Wellness Challenge

Sacred Wolf Centre has invited the Port Hardy Mayor and Council to take a dip in the ocean

Representatives from the Sacred Wolf Centre have invited District of Port Hardy mayor and council to take a

dip in the ocean.The dip is part of a Community Winter Wellness Challenge being hosted by Sacred Wolf in

partnership with Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Child and Family Services, Vancouver Island Health Authority Mental

Health and Addictions, Quatsino Health, and School District #85.At the regular meeting of District of Port Hardy

council Jan. 26, Sacred Wolf’s Kyla Lapointe, a social worker, explained that poverty, and mental health and

addictions are quite high in the community, and the shooting death of James Reginald Butters, 24, also known

as James Hayward, by RCMP last year also created a rift in the community.”It really fractured last year,” said

Cultural Coordinator Wade Charley.In order to promote healing, the decision was made to offer an opportunity

for people “to come together to do this spiritual cleanse,” said Lapointe.The event will take place at Tsulquate

Park beginning with a welcome from the Chiefs at 9 a.m.At 9:30 a.m. there will be a Spirit Bath in the

ocean. Wade explained that during the Spirit Bath people will walk out into the ocean and say a prayer in all

four directions to their mothers, fathers, community, and self.The bath will be held by Kinsmen Park.”That’s the

ideal spot, easy, accessible and safe,” said Charley, adding that old running shoes, shorts and a tank top is the

recommended clothing option.The Spirit Bath will be “very powerful, because we all enter the water together.

I’m very excited for this Wellness Challenge,” said Lapointe.The Challenge will then move to the Tsakis

Bighouse in Fort Rupert where events will include a K’atla’lith’a – a purifying cedar smoke cleansing ceremony

that symbolizes a new start in life.”I think this is a phenomenal idea,” said Councillor Jessie Hemphill.Mayor

Hank Bood agreed.”I think that it is really important; that we need to get more familiar with each other’s

cultures,” said Bood.”I think we’re making progress and I’m liking that.”