Retired Ontario Provincial Police officer George Couchie is the creator of “Walking the Path”, a course that teaches the Ojibwe culture. Our leadership team at Brightshores Health System is fortunate to have attended the training in December of 2023. This full day of learning – hosted by M’Wikwedong Indigenous Friendship Centre – truly connects people and helps them better understand another culture and Indigenous peoples’ history.

Everyone has a story to tell

We need to listen, reflect, and learn as we engage with our Indigenous patients and their families, especially as trauma from residential school abuse ripples through multiple generations of families. George’s community is healing from the inside out and that will take time. Fortunately, he sees it is bringing young people back into the community and he finds more often than not they want to learn their language and reclaim their sense of self. 

Couchie has also taught “Walking the Path” to police officers and many teachers have adopted it for their classrooms. He would like the course to continue to spread throughout the region.

Giiwe Project

Anyone interested in taking the training is encouraged to reach out to Diane Giroux, Program Coordinator. Diane is a key contact for the Giiwe Project, which creates a safe space to foster meaningful collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous agencies and organizations.

Visit the M’Wikwedong website to see all of the programming that is offered and know that everyone is welcome to participate in events that take place at the Friendship Centre, such as Giiwe community caring circles, to further build relationships and trust. Together, we can strengthen our united community and put an end to cultural barriers.

We all have a responsibility to learn the true history as part of our work toward Truth and Reconciliation. We can take any number of actions to show support to our Indigenous community members.

The Seven Grandfather Teachings resonated with Brightshores’ leaders who experienced a meaningful day of teachings. Learn more about Indigenous Services and Initiatives at Brightshores here.                  

With open minds and hearts, we relate to the Seven Grandfather Teachings:

Love. Truth. Bravery. Honesty. Humility. Wisdom. Respect.