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Williams Lake First Nation to host community empowerment workshop for adults and youth

Week-long event aimed at breaking the cycle of intergenerational trauma
Williams Lake First Nation is hosting a Community Empowerment workshop in November to try to support anyone impacted by residential and day school survivors. The First Nation also hosted a pow wow gathering this past summer. (Julie Elizabeth Photography photo)

Williams Lake First Nation (WLFN) will be offering a workshop for survivors and families of residential schools and day schools on Nov. 14-18, 2022 at Sugar Cane.

The workshop will be presented by Jane Middleton-Moz, who has a master’s degree in clinical psychology, is an assistant professor at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto and is an internationally renowned speaker.

Judy Ventry, the Outreach Support Worker for the St. Joseph’s Mission Investigation at WLFN, said this type of workshop and support is critical in the area right now.

With some of the findings of the investigation into the Indian residential school having been released, and more set to be released as the work continues, she recognizes there are many in the community who need support.

Even though Middleton-Moz is in such high demand, Ventry said she agreed to squeeze in the workshop after she told Middleton-Moz about the St. Joseph’s Mission investigation.

“It’s quite an amazing thing to get her here,” said Ventry, noting Middleton-Moz teaches people from all over the world with trauma, including those coming from war-torn areas.

There have been a number of recent deaths, including of young people, in the community and the work Middleton-Moz does can help address the underlying trauma.

The five-day community empowerment workshop will be for both youth and adults, with a youth worker accompanying Middleton-Moz to provide some youth-specific focus as well.

Ventry said the kind of trauma experienced by residential and day school survivors and their families needs to be grieved and healed to keep it from being carried into the next generation.

The youth will be empowered by validating their experiences and teaching them how to thrive in their communities and schools in order to create better futures for themselves.

The work involved is designed to help stop the cycle of violence from being passed down by helping individuals “find their voice in trauma and grief resolution, improve communication between community members.”

Some of the workshop work will be with both adults and youth and some will be separate for the different age groups.

People interested in registering for the workshop, can contact Judy Ventry at or 250.296.3507 ext. 191. The workshop is open to members of all First Nation communities in the area and will be at the Elizabeth Grouse Gymnasium.

Middleton-Moz is the author of nine books including: After the Tears, Guilt and Shame; Bullies, Transforming Anger, and more.

Read more: ‘93 is our number’: WLFN reveals St. Joseph’s Mission preliminary findings

Read more: Prime minister’s visit welcomed by St. Joseph’s Mission investigation team

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Ruth Lloyd

About the Author: Ruth Lloyd

After moving back to Williams Lake, where I was born and graduated from school, I joined the amazing team at the Williams Lake Tribune in 2021.
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