Hotıì ts'eeda was happy to be the principal funder for the Territorial Cancer Survivors’ Retreat for Women on October 18-20, 2019 in Yellowknife. The NWT Breast Health/Breast Cancer Action Group held the two and half day retreat to provide support and healing for women experiencing any type of cancer. Funding ensured that women from all across the territory were able to travel to Yellowknife to take part in this healing workshop.
The retreat opened on a Friday evening and closed Sunday afternoon with prayers and words of healing from Elder Be’sha Blondin. Sessions included: Art of Healing; Eat to Heal; Dance and Stretch; Restorative Yoga; Healing Medicine; Healthy Products for Your Home; and Self Compassion. Participants also had ample time to build relationships with each other informally. Participants highlighted meeting other survivors and sharing with them, laughter, and the program activities. Many said they felt more connected, uplifted and stronger. At the end of the retreat participants put together a group email and telephone list so they can continue to keep in touch.
The event gained a lot of interest. Indigenous Community Health Representatives were vital in promoting the retreat and reaching out personally to women who have experienced cancer in their communities. More women were interested in attending than could be accommodated, which shows the value of supportive group gatherings such as the Territorial Cancer Survivors’ Retreat for Women. Overall the interest in attending was greater from cancer survivors outside Yellowknife than from those living in the city.