Overcoming Covid-19 and Creating Community
The word family conjures up many different images and feelings. To some it is a term that connects lineage, and to others, it denotes people who have come into their lives. No matter which definition you choose; family always implies people who are the most important to you. These people give you space to belong, feel safe and help nourish your soul. The other day a Mother put into words what family meant to her.
Just writing you about our conversation we had earlier today. I just wanted to say about Bent Arrow, your organization greatly impacted the lives of my family and me. When I first started attending, I was just starting The Health For Two program (Health for Two is a provincial program that supports expecting mothers).
10 years ago, I didn’t know how those first steps would change my life. As I’m writing this, I’m filled with amazing memories of the staff, and the friends I had made. It felt like a family to be part of a Bent Arrow Parent Link Centre (now Kikosewin FRN), all because of the amazing programs they had provided. There was always something we wanted to be part of.
We met on a weekly basis, with our kids in tow. In need of a break, a good laugh, and friendship. I miss those days; I never knew how good it was until covid-19 hit. It took away our connection, our little group of women and children. Who, like myself, needed those connections socially. It had felt like a family, it had embraced our needs and wants of friendship. If we needed to have a conversation, advice or simple kinship, Bent Arrow was there.
Bent Arrow was our go to place when we needed it, our beacon, I miss that. Some of us need a break, somewhere to unwind, to vent, to associate with each other. It may be our only outlet to the world, in a sense it was our world. A home. We had time to ourselves to do things for ourselves such as craft: paint, parenting classes, etc. All while our kids are in childcare. Thank you, ladies, for all that you do and continue to do.
As the Mother alludes to, COVID-19 has changed our worlds. Our precious spheres in which we house our most intimate relationships, have become siloed islands. We can no longer break bread and rest safely in the presence of those we most cherish. It has not been safe to share physical space for a whole year. In this chaos emerged a program that sought to connect, to preserve what was being lost of the basic human need for social interaction, and to create a safe space for sharing- emotionally, spiritually and intellectually.
Kikosewin, is a Cree word describing the act of being with family and was the perfect name for this program. Today, the Kikosewin Family Resource Network, has virtual programming for early childhood development, youth, parents and seniors. These programs are free of charge and are open to anyone. To register you can email. firstname.lastname@example.org or call 587-334-6458/587 337 5766.