The discovery of over 1,300 unmarked graves of Indigenous First Nation children
at former residential school sites across the country has shocked Canadians.
National outrage has triggered calls for a reckoning over Canada's residential
For Indigenous First Nations people, the findings of these graves have exposed
old wounds and refreshed the sense of loss so many families experienced as their
children were forcibly taken away to residential schools.
The grief and trauma from these experiences have had a profound effect on First
Nations people, igniting a variety of mental health symptoms and, for many,
creating a sense of disconnection from themselves and their relationship with
Understanding how these institutions have affected whole communities and
families is key to helping Indigenous First Nations clients heal from the grief.
Envision has invited Shelley Spear Chief, a Clinical Social Worker and a leading
First Nation Presenter on issues of historical trauma to present an online
workshop entitled Working with Complex Traumatic Grief Within Indigenous First
Nation Peoples: the shock of the unmarked graves
Her presentation on November 5th, 2021 is designed to give mental health therapists an
increased understanding of the historical effects of grief and how it is now
identified as complex complicated grief.
In this workshop, Shelley will explain how the finding of unmarked graves has
exacerbated the symptoms of complex grief. She will identify obstacles in healing
due to the enormous effects of suicide, opioid crisis, and the COVID pandemic.
Therapists will also learn how to detect the different types of grief experienced by
Indigenous First Nation Peoples.
“The most important thing you have to have with our people is a relationship,”
says Spear Chief. Even if it’s online, when you invite your client in, invite them to
have a coffee or a tea so that they feel they are having a visit. They have to feel
safe, that they can trust you.”
Register for this workshop and acquire the tools all clinicians should have to help
their Indigenous First Nations clients heal from this dark chapter in Canada’s