Friday, April 8, 2011

Circle of Life Gathering: Addictions and Suicide

Life After Addictions and Suicide: A Circle of Life Gathering.
Honouring the Spirits of Our Loved Ones
ThunderBird House in Winnipeg, Manitoba will be the host site for a Gathering on May 10th and 11th, 2011. The Gathering is bringing together people from all walks of life. The goal of the Gathering is to look at ways to progress past the anguish of Addictions and Suicide.

Elder Tobasonakwut-Peter Kinew, Mr. George Chuvalo and Theo Fleury are slated as Speakers at the Gathering. In addition, Traditional Teachers/Oshkabawis Chickadee Richards, Sally McDonald, film maker Colleen Rajotte, Don Courchene, News Reporter Wab Kinew, Jeff Brightnose, Betty Laschuk, Ron McDonald are going to be involved either by Speaking, or as Helpers in the Healing Journey taking place at the Circle of Life Gathering.

This Gathering is a continuation of a Survivor of Suicide Gathering held in 2010. The focus of the 2010 Gathering was to bring suicide survivors together to start healing and continue a process of living again.

This year the Gathering will look at "finding your cause". Perhaps the way to keep living is to work at a cause. Whether that cause is fighting drug abuse, or bringing awareness to abuse, or following a Spiritual path. The cause no longer is a cause but it becomes part of your life. The cause becomes a healthy way of living.

George Chuvalo, former Canadian Heavy Weight Champion has never been knocked down in his life. However, the weight of addictions and suicide was almost too much for George to handle. Addictions and suicide ended up taking half of his family. George is a survivor of addictions and suicide loss. He was a fighter in the ring but now he fights outside of the ring. George has made it his life to Fight Against Drugs and to try save lives.
Theoren (Theo) Fleury the former Calgary Flame of the National Hockey League is a champion. He was a champion on the ice for the Flames and for Team Canada in the Olympics. Now Theo is a champion for the fight against abuse and addictions. Revealing his life story of abuse and drug abuse in his book, “Playing with Fire”. Theo has let the public know about how hard it was for him to cope. He is going on with his life and is choosing to help people. Theo once considered ending his own life. Only through what Theo says is a miracle, he is on a path to living a healthy way of life.
Peter Kinew is a Spiritual Elder well recognized in the Aboriginal community. A number of years ago, Suicide and addiction hit Peter. Peter walked away from an active political life as the leader of a regional Aboriginal organization. He met the tragedy of suicide and addictions with a choice to look for Healing. Peter makes it his life’s work to help those in need. He is known for his knowledge of Ojibway Teachings and Traditions. Peter says “we volunteer for this event because it is a way to reach people who are suffering, like we have”. The Life after Addictions and Suicide Gathering is an opportunity to continue the journey of healing. We welcome the public to this open event.
Comprehensive Community Initiative (CCI) spokesperson Brian Mcleod says, “We need more events that come from the immediate community, that is why we felt the need to support the Gathering and help with the costs of bringing in Mr. Chuvalo and Mr. Fleury”. “We know the work they are engaged in and realize that addictions and suicide have no boundaries”.
For further information contact: Chrissy Gauthier 204-940-4240, Thunderbird House 719 Main St. Winnipeg, Mb. or Steve Courchene 470-5207.



  1. I would be interested in going to this except I live in Michigan and would have trouble paying to get there. I am wondering if there are any scholarships or something.

  2. Yes, I do wish there were some type of monies for this kind of thing. What we do is seek help from people, most of the help is "in kind" support. We were lucky that one entity is picking up the costs for the two speakers. Everyone else is coming at their own expense. We hope to get at least a meager gift of somekind for the other speakers, but will have to see how that goes. Right now I am trying to get more feet on the ground volunteers for the Sweats and other help. I didn't get going as early as I would have liked working on this Gathering. I am hoping someone will take up the challenge next year or we will try it again.