|Posted on June 10, 2021 at 4:45 PM|
Langara’s Advanced Integrative Energy Healing™ (IEH) graduate and alumna, Diane Strand, (2016) has an impressive career working in many capacities at Champagne & Aishihik First Nations (CAFN) before, during, and after her studies at Langara. Stand speaks fondly of ‘being blessed’ to have worked in the Heritage Department which grounded her in learning and understanding her culture and history. She was the Director of Language, Culture and Heritage (LCH) for several years, Chief for 4 years, Director of Community Wellness for another couple years and finally Senior Director of Citizen Services. Strand states, that each of those roles provided her with the teachings and preparation needed to know and serve her community. She recalls, the last two roles being especially important to her as they were direct, front line work with people who were in need.
Diane Strand 2020
Strand’s deeper passion was helping others on their healing journey and sought out various healing modalities throughout her life. It was during her time at LCH, that Strand felt that she needed to serve her community through her passion. She applied to the former, CS Langara Integrative Energy Healing™ program and could not believe that a healing modality would be offered through a college program where she could get certified and not expect her to have a degree in science or nursing.
Strand recalls, initially, she was having doubts about the travelling back and forth from the Yukon. It was a huge investment, especially of her time. She arrived for the first class, extremely exhausted and became sick. A trip to the emergency on day two of the course left her with a shingles diagnosis. On day three, the class learned and practiced energy healing techniques on each other. Strand exclaimed, “the experience I had was absolutely incredible.” “It was the closest that I ever felt to my ancestry; doing what I believed my grandmothers were gifted. Strands maternal grandmother was a medicine woman, many people came to her for healing; her paternal grandmother worked on people. Following the first week of classes, Strand returned home feeling absolutely fine and has not had any reoccurrence of shingles since. Strand shared, “now I have the knowledge and absolutely love the field of Integrative energy healing work. My heart is full. Let the adventure begin!”
SRFNC and serving the community.
As part of Strands AIEH™ internship practicum, the Strategic Resilience for First Nation Communities (SRFNC) was created. AIEH™ program coordinator, Ruth Lamb and faculty, travelled to the Yukon to offer the program to the First Nation Communities. It was a hybrid of the program, Lamb developed for Strategic Resilience for First Responders (SRFR). In the SRFNC elements of First Nation traditions and beliefs were embedded within the program. With an onsite Elder present at all the teachings, a Sacred Fire burning 24 hours from opening Ceremony till closing Ceremony and the Fire was held by a Traditional Fire Keeper and his helper(s) each time. Both the Elder and the Fire Keeper provided teachings within the program assisted by Lamb and Strand.
Strand has a desire to start this program again one day post-COVID when it’s safe to gather. Strand states, the Strategic Resilience for First Nations program was so beneficial to the participants and the community, and believes it was partly because it was offered out on the land. The teachings were not from Yukon First Nations per se but from ancient teaching, no less and the connection is strong. For example, “in the first cohort we were showing people some energy healing techniques and how to create an energy ball, and right away everyone got it.” Then the instructor just out of the blue said, “let’s see if they could find their third layer of their field on each other.” Within 10 minutes of showing them, they all got it. Not surprising as many of the participants were bushmen. The men were hunters, trappers and cowboys. Because of their close connection to the land they were familiar with energy, it was easy for them to recognize it. Now they understand and can name it. It was a beautiful session and a beautiful day. Many of the participants continue to enquire about the program. Some First Nations want this program offered in their community. Strand hopes to get more energy healers up here to help teach this.
Using traditional ceremony, horse energy and integrative energy healing™ is unique.
Strand says, there are very few energy healers in the Yukon and none of the practitioners are First Nations from the Yukon. She is happy that she has gained the skills and certification and offering these services in a community that already know and trusts her, she feels is important.
Strand has joined with a colleague and created a family-based program called Equine Therapy and Energy Healing Program. It’s a one-on-one program with a family (with several families in the program, expanding in May, 2021) ranging from 5 to 8 members. The family comes together at her colleagues horse ranch, for an intensive program - three times per year where they gather for 4-days and then once per month for 1-day. They have an Elder and/or Fire Keeper present to offer traditional ceremony, equine therapy and energy healing for each member of the family.
Families that have been struggling with intergenerational trauma have been asking for a land-based, hands on program for quite some time. Many of the counselling sessions that are traditionally offered and provided for by the Federal or Territorial government are from a colonized perspective, a Western lens. So far the families are seeing the benefits. It’s unfortunate that in December 2020 they shut down due to a COVID spike but were able to meet in January, 2021 for the one day. Strand feels the program will sky-rocket as other First Nations hear about it and want to be a take part. She hopes that she can create a program for First Nation energy healers to help and assist.
Today, Strand has joined with a colleague and created a unique family-based program called Equine Therapy and Energy Healing Program. Using traditional ceremony, horse energy and integrative energy healing™. Families that have been struggling with intergenerational trauma have been asking for a land-based, hands on program for quite some time. Many of the counselling sessions that are traditionally offered and provided for by the Federal or Territorial government are from a colonized perspective, a Western lens. So far the families are seeing the benefits.
Mara Hagglund, CAIEHP is a transformational learning adult educator and has been teaching Energy Awareness/Biofield for sinece 2015 in the Healing Sciences Theory & Skills stream in the formor Integrative Energy Healing™️ Program at Langara College. Mara is a certified Advanced Integrative Energy Healing™️ practitioner with a specialty in Integrative Energy Healing in somatic and trauma healing.