Watchia! I have been on board since May 13th, 2002 on a program formed as “Wellness and Traditional Cree Health Practices” on our regional health board. Some of you may or may not know that I have been involved in social service counseling, workshop facilitation and training on issues related to wellness and social issues. The topic of Wellness is broad and diverse just as well with our own Cree Traditional Health Practices.

One idea comes to my mind when I think of Cree medicine or healing. At one time we had our ways of healing and herbs and plants or animals were used to heal colds, headaches, toothaches etc. Today there is a dependency to use prescription drugs and this costs the health board money. Dependency becomes termed as an addiction. That is just one area of substance abuse in Eeyou country and other nations. What we have to heal is out on the land and it is available. We can learn from the ones that have kept this knowledge.

There are certain things about wellness I want to share with you. In this you will gain and understanding of the new approach by the developed by the Public Health Department of the Cree Health Board and Social Services of James Bay. Our goal is as always to promote health and well being In Eeyou Istchee.

Hopefully some of this message will help the Eeyou in the region of James Bay northern Quebec.

Wellness is a choice – a decision you make to move toward optimal health Wellness is a way of life- a lifestyle you design for well being to achieve your highest potential Wellness is a process- a developing awareness that there is no end point, but the health and happiness are possible each moment, here and now Wellness is an efficient channeling of] energy – energy received from the environment, transformed within you, and sent back on to affect the world outside Wellness is the integration of the body, mind and spirit – the appreciation that everything you do, think and feel, and believe has an impact on your state of health Wellness is the acceptance of yourself I know these are things about wellness that our Elders practiced in the past. They need to be a part of the everyday life of the Crees today.

If you have any feedback please call at 819.855.2844 ext. 5362 or email Charles Esau, Health Promotion Officer, Cree Traditional Practices & Wellness