YORKTON - A healing room has been created at the Yorkton and District Nursing Home.
Tara Lee Blount, an LPN at the facility said the room is something she hopes will help First Nations residents and others heal in traditional ways – such as a smudge.
Blount related how some residents face challenges including dementia, and troubled pasts. She said one resident told her that she was being held against her will and she was there so her grandchildren could be taken.
“She was a survivor of the residential schools,” said Blount.
“No matter what I said she couldn’t trust me. That hurt me to my core.”
The new room will offer a new option for healing in a traditional way, Blount calling it “transformative healing” focusing on body, mind and spirit.
The idea for creating the room came to Blount in a dream, and it was a simple one – to create a quiet space where residents could return to some traditional healing. It is a room for residents and family to smudge, or simply spend time.
The new room – named Cedar Way -- was made possible with the support of the Yorkton Tribal Council and the health district.
“I’m glad we were able to be involved,” said YTC Tribal Chief Isabele O’Soup.
O’Soup said she realized something upon arriving at the opening ceremony Monday.
“What I saw when I walked in was a roomful of elders and knowledge keepers,” she said, adding she hoped the people gathered would always share their stories.
Mayor Mitch Hippsley said the room is another example of continuing efforts toward truth and reconciliation in Yorkton.
For Blount, who was in tears, the opening marked the end of an effort to have the room that she has been passionate about getting done.
“I’m very humbled and overwhelmed by the acceptance of this room,” said Blount.