Sacred Space for all

07/11/2014 8:56:19 AM | 1 comments |

As the tobacco burns and smoke rises, carrying prayers to the Spirit World, the sweet smell of cedar, sage and sweet grass fill the room. The sound of water trickling from the free standing waterfall calms the spirit, as the heat from the fireplace warms the soul. This is Fraser Health’s newly created Sacred Space at Fraser Canyon Hospital.

The first of its kind in Fraser Health

The Sacred Space is an indoor area for smudging and pipe ceremonies, making it easier for our First Nations populations to observe important parts of the traditional Aboriginal healing journey.

With one of the most diverse Aboriginal populations in the province, Fraser Health is committed to providing culturally sensitive care to members of 32 First Nations communities from Burnaby to Boston Bar.

The space has been fitted with a ventilation system to allow for smoke from the burning of various medicine plants in an abalone shell to escape, and are wafted using an eagle feather during ceremonies.

This ritual cleansing is meant to lift negative energy, feelings, and emotions away; leaving the mind, body and spirit feeling healed, and personal energy is balanced.

Chawathil First Nation Chief, Rhoda Peters welcomed the Sacred Space to Fraser Canyon Hospital “as it offers strength to families and loved ones during difficult times.”

Culturally sensitive care for Aboriginal populations

Complimenting initiatives already in place like the Aboriginal Health Liaisons who connect Aboriginal patients to health care professionals and services, the Sacred Space further underlines Fraser Health’s commitment to its Aboriginal patient population.

Director of Aboriginal Health, Leslie Bonshor commended Fraser Health for “providing safe and sacred space for our Aboriginal patients to help themselves get well in a way that is important and sacred to them and their families.”

Addressing the spiritual needs of all patients

Also housing a wooden alter and seating, the Sacred Space is open to people of all faiths.

“This space has been designed to provide a place of peace and tranquillity,” said Keith McBain, Executive Director Fraser Canyon Hospital, Residential Care and Assisted Living. “It was intended to address the spiritual needs of all patients, clients, families, staff and volunteers at Fraser Canyon Hospital, in the traditional territory of Chawathil First Nations as well as all residents in the area.”

Visit our website for more information about Aboriginal Health at Fraser Health.

Lucy Barney
Ia m so pleased Fraser Health and the Fraser Canyon Hospital provide this sacred space to allow for holistic healing. This is a wonderful collaboration. Thank you for doing this for our people. Kukwstumc kacw
10/12/2014 2:21:29 PM

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