♦ OPENING KEYNOTE with Brad Marsden
Fire Across the Land: Strengthening Community Connections
This powerful, experiential keynote, will educate and help delegates understand the collective trauma that has impacted Native people throughout Canada’s history. After acknowledging that a collective trauma exists, participants will better understand how feelings such as fear, shame, learned helplessness, and anger infiltrate First Nations communities and lead to the disempowering behaviors and social conditions that we see today. With this change in perception, delegates will have an accurate understanding of why some Native people see, think, feel and behave the way they do. As a result, service providers will be better prepared to effectively communicate and empower the Native members of their communities.
Brad Marsden is from the Gitsegukla Reserve within the Gitksan Nation in Northern British Columbia. He is a Life Coach, Residential School Counselor and Facilitator. He is also an Inter- generational Survivor of the Residential School, as he was raised by his grandparents who are residential school survivors. Although Brad never attended the school himself, he was raised by the same beliefs, attitudes and behaviors’ that his primary caregivers and community had to experience in the Residential School system. All of his important early childhood development was greatly influenced by his elders’ experience in those schools. It is his goal to help his people move forward in their lives by helping them ,and society become more accurately aware of the history of the Residential School and the effects that it had, and still has on First Nations communities today, and more importantly, on the children.