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Blue Sky healing centre offers cultural programs in Thunder Bay

Friday January 24, 2014
Crystallee Mouland/Special to Wawatay News

Cindy Crowe of Lake Helen First Nation stands in front of the new Blue Sky Community Healing Centre.

The sky is the limit for cultural teaching, learning and awareness programs at Blue Sky Community Healing Centre in Thunder Bay.

Cindy Crowe, who is the lodge keeper and community coorindator of Blue Sky, said the centre is hosts workshops, healing circles and community programming. She added that it is a growing collaboration of businesses and organizations.

“The focus for Blue Sky is community activities, cultural awareness and teachings to promote sharing love and kindness with others,” the Lake Helen First Nation member said.

Located on Victoria Avenue in downtown Fort William, the centre houses Cindy Crowe consulting business as well as the non-profit corporation Grey Wolf Traditional Healing Lodge.

Cindy Crowe Consulting focuses on community engagement and development. Crowe feels consultation is a huge need in northern Ontario.

“It’s an industry the elders are approving of,” Crowe said.

It was through Crowe’s consulting opportunities to travel throughout the province to most of the NAN and some of the Treaty 3 communities that allowed her to gain knowledge to share through Blue Sky. =

“I’m taking that knowledge, I’m taking what I have learned and sharing that with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal agencies, businesses and organizations, to try to help the two come together,” she said.

This knowledge is being applied through various facilitators and organizations – including Coon’s Media and A Beautiful New You – conducting workshops and classes daily at the centre, are different organizations within the new centre.

“We will be offering sharing circles, movie and open mic nights and art, cultural, crafts, jewelry, language, family and other various classes and workshops,” Crowe said. “Those things will increase as we go along.”

According to Crowe, activities being offered at the centre are designed to help people connect to their true authentic self.

“It’s been my experience once people connect with who they truly are then and what they are here to do then the rest is really easy, everything sort of falls into place after that.”

Activities are usually free at Blue Sky. However, courses or workshops with a cost can still be attended by people who may not be able to afford it.

“If someone wanted to attend and they didn’t have the money then we would do an energy exchange,” Crowe said. “We offer options and people have been receptive to that.”

Blue Sky is a community in itself offering commuting activities, Crowe shared.

“Community to me it is a gathering of people. It’s like a family. We support one another and others are going to come to their aid. We are there with a kind word and a smile. We are working on an exchange of experiences, ideas and teachings.”

One of the community projects the centre is offering to help bring people together is a youth and Elder mentorship program.

“In the program, both the youth and elder’s mentor each other to empower themselves,” said Crowe.

Blue Sky is one of four spirits that helps guide the lodge.

“You know sky is the limit. We remind people of that. Look above you there is no limitations. If you plan with no limitations then you have good strategic planning.”

The Blue Sky Community Healing Centre has an open door policy to agencies, businesses, individuals, organizations, and workshops, which allows for unlimited opportunities, Crowe said.


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