MANITOULIN—Women’s Wellness Week kicked off a busy schedule with a welcoming ceremony on Tuesday, March 8. The event is sponsored by the Mnidoo Mnising Coalition Against Domestic Violence, with funding provided by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services.
“Manitoulin Family Resources’ Outreach staff will be taking part in facilitating a series of events in honour of International Women’s Day,” said Manitoulin Family Resources executive director Marnie Hall. “This year the agenda includes events hosted over much of the week, led in facilitation by Schuyler Playford, the current coordinator for the coalition. “As Schuyler points out, ‘Although the format is again virtual this year, we incorporated embodied experiences to promote a sense of community and togetherness in this year’s events.’ For example, the paint class, dance class and tea and chat sessions. We address community and individual well-being holistically—looking at trauma and equity, self-perception and esteem and traditional medicine.”
Ms. Hall notes the virtual celebration continues to be fortunate for the support and “involvement of local businesses to promote local products.”
“Eighty participant packages were prepared to be distributed to registrants locally in advance,” she said. “Others interested in attending without the registrant package have been able to do so because of the virtual nature. We currently have over 100 individuals registered to attend.”
The event started off at 10 am Tuesday with Pastor Wendy Payne of Paris, Ontario’s Cedarview Church with a chat to follow.
Along Pastor Payne’s journey as a woman in leadership there have been many hurdles to overcome, notes the agenda. “In a world that is inundated with social media, perceived perfection, selfie filters and airbrushing, we as women can often feel like we don’t and can’t measure up!”
An online yoga class, Yoga and Breath Work with Annie Cassie, will take place between 6:30 and 7:30 pm. Ms. Cassie “believes that a full-rounded approach to wellness is imperative to a woman’s wellbeing. She uses coaching, yoga, meditation and breath-work along with a variety of wellness workshops. She knows what it’s like to be mired in the minutiae of life. Ms. Cassie is a cheerleader who can guide you “to uncage your amazing self and make your beautiful metamorphosis!”
Today, Wednesday, March 9, will see events begin at 11 am with Cultivating Safe Spaces, a presentation with Elaine Alec. Ms. Alec has spent over two decades in over 100 communities across Canada promoting healing and wellness. Author of ‘Calling My Spirit Back,’ a memoir about growing up as an Indigenous girl in Canada and the impacts of colonization, her presentation provides “Indigenous knowledge and teachings on how to cultivate safe spaces for diversity and inclusion.” Tea and chat to follow.
From 2 to 4 pm on Wednesday, Creator’s Healing Instruction to the Four Medicines, a presentation by Gloria Oshkabewisens-McGregor, will explore “our relationship to the four medicines. They will guide us to hear the voice of our spirit that knows the need for our well-being and self-respect. The healing instructions the medicines were given were to help us heal, being in the moment of our medicinal helpers is being in a moment of a spiritual seer. The Four Medicines and four quadrants of the medicine wheel of life will guide us to understand the truth of our own voice as we relate to the Four Medicines.” Tea and chat to follow.
The Thursday, March 10 events start at 10 am to noon with ‘The Joy of Dance’ by Candice Irwin. Ms. Irwin “shares what she has learned about the history and science behind why dance is good for us. She will also share some dances and movement activities we can incorporate into our daily lives to promote health for the mind, body and soul. No dance experience needed. All movement abilities welcome.”
Later, from 6:30 through to 8:30 pm, it’s Paint Night with artist Sheila McDermid (by registration only). “During this virtual paint class, Sheila provides all materials for participants to complete a project called ‘Moonlit’ (hence the need to pre-register). Ms. McDermid promises to “walk people through every step along the way, with a few laughs and a little fun thrown in. All levels of painters will complete a finished piece to be proud of.”
The week’s events close out on Friday, March 11 with a reprise of Yoga and Breath Work with Anne Caissie complemented with Tapping and Meditation with Amy Rempel. Ms. Rempel will share her personal story “about the blocks that she faced when she was diagnosed with an illness.” She will offer some practical tips to others on how to clear those blocks and talk about how she used Reiki and emotional freedom technique (EFT) to help with the struggles she faced and to feel and experience emotions and underlying issues she needed to deal with. She will explain EFT and guide participants through a round of tapping.
A closing ceremony will take place at noon, with a door prize draw for lucky attendees.
Further details and registration are on the Manitoulin Family Resources website at www.mfresources.net.