New service at Kanesatake Health Center

For the first time, the Kanesatake Health Center (KHC) is offering traditional healing sessions to community members.

“We are striving for a holistic approach to health at the KHC,” said Teiawenhniseráhte Tomlinson, executive director of the health centre. “As such, we have to offer access to a range of services to our members in terms of physical, mental, and spiritual health.”

The sessions are administered by Dennis Nicholas, who is working with clients on emotional, psychological, or spiritual issues that are affecting their well-being. Tomlinson recommends the sessions to any Onkwehón:we who are in search of a traditional approach to healing.

“This is an important part of our culture,” he said. “By offering this array of services, we can target more of our people in need. Once someone has started their healing journey, they can then also have access to other avenues of support, which can help them in their progression.”

A client who is coming for traditional healing might connect with other useful services they may not have otherwise pursued, such as appointments with a psychologist, he said. Similarly, someone who is coming to KHC for western counselling could be introduced to a traditional approach to healing that might help them.

No matter the approach a client prefers, it is important that they recognize that healing can take time, according to Tomlinson.

“Just like modern approaches to mental health, follow up is needed. The person has to put in the effort and work needed for their healing journey,” he said. “The same principle applies here. There are many factors at play, but it can definitely be an ongoing process.”

The traditional healing sessions take place at the health centre on Fridays. Kanehsata’kehró:non who are interested in registering for a session or who have questions can contact Crystal Diabo at 450-479-6000 ext. 224.

Marcus Bankuti, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Door