Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 19, 2008
Hospital teepee honours Aboriginal culture
Hope and healing provided for diverse cultures
Kyle Campiou, an Aboriginal cultural helper, sets up a teepee outside the Misericordia Hospital May 8.
Special to the WCR
Two symbols of hope and healing - a teepee and a hospital - have come together at the Misericordia Community Hospital. On May 8, the Misericordia celebrated Aboriginal culture by raising a teepee for patients and staff in the cafeteria courtyard.
The celebration included traditional smudging, blessing and pipe ceremonies, as well as a delicious feast enjoyed by all.
This event, a first for Caritas Health Group, promotes awareness about our Aboriginal patient population.
"At the Misericordia Community Hospital, we serve a significant Aboriginal population," says Jan Schimpf, acting associate vice president operations.
"We hope these patients not only benefit from our care but also from the hope and strength that the teepee provides."
Adds Gordon Self, vice president, mission, ethics and spirituality, "the teepee represents our commitment as an organization to respect diverse cultures and traditions of the people we serve in keeping with our faith-based and holistic approach to health care.
"In many instances, the inner strength patients draw upon to face their illnesses is rooted in a rich cultural experience that should be promoted and expressed."
Also attending was Kyle Campiou, Caritas' Aboriginal cultural helper.
Cultural helpers work in a variety of facilities throughout the Capital Health region to ensure First Nations, Métis and Inuit patients and their families have a guide to support them during their hospital stay.
To learn more about the cultural helper program at the Misericordia, contact Campiou at 735-2630.