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'Tuuraq' - always look back

For those of you unaware of where and what Nunavut (meaning ‘our land’ in Inuktitut) is, I’ve inserted a link to a handy map. 
http://www.athropolis.com/map-nunavut.htm
It is an Inuit governed territory of Canada. It’s a gigantic land of immense proportions, covering much of Canada’s eastern Arctic extending to the north pole. You may have heard of the history of the territory’s incredible formation.
http://www.nunavut-physicians.gov.nu.ca/history.shtml
I’ve been in this territory, well minute segments of it, during the onset of the Arctic’s summer. I spent time in the territory’s capital, Iqaluit. I went west across the Hudson Bay to Rankin Inlet in the Kivalliq region. I finished up heading to Clyde River toward the top of Baffin Island, set in amongst the fjords well above the 60th parallel.



The title of this blog is a word I was told by a person that gave me great insight into the lives of Inuit today. It means always look back. It was explained to me that your past isn’t just behi…
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They are addicts. Stop. We are all substance users.

Vancouver is a city on edge. 
On the edge of the wild, the urban and water; the haves and have-nots; the edge between dereliction and gentrification; it pushes environmental movements, it was where Greenpeace was established, while edging Alberta, a province big on natural resource extraction and building pipelines into BC; it’s been on the edge of drug crises for years. Right now, it is in the midst’s of an opioid crisis; It edges the USA. Washington States’ Cascade mountain range can be seen from Vancouver, and the state’s Olympic Mountains from Victoria, Vancouver Island. The jagged edges of these fortress-like ranges are visible to all Canadians from these ‘safe’, Canadian vantage points.





When we all walk into a bar…
The many contrasts laid bare across the Vancouver landscape attracts interesting critique, which pushes the public policy discourse, and seems to allow Vancouver to push the edge of working practices in the social service sector. Of course, this attracts big thinkers. …

Resilience: It’s not magic, we’re not born with it, so how do we get it?

What is it that makes an individual, a family, a community, a society, a nation, and a global citizenry thrive?
Could it be resilience? If this is the case, we should be working out how to maximise it against all the odds. Today, in our society, the odds do seem to be against us.


I spent the last week in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. For two days, I attended the 7th annual psychological trauma and Juvenile Justice Conference. It is part of the initiative of the Trauma Informed Care Project from Orchard Place. The aim of the project is to spread the word and change the way we work. Quite literally, the project is working to educate people in understanding the enormity of the evidence of trauma and what we can all to understand recognise and respond to the effects of trauma.
http://www.traumainformedcareproject.org/about.php
The conference was run by the renowned Dr Bruce Perry, a neuroscientist and child psychiatrist and Dr Stuart Ablon, a child psychiatrist. Both emphasise collaboration an…

Pause, take a breath. From this moment on everything will be different and better.

Last week, I believe that everyone I met with took a few breaths before I arrived. This could have been a tactic to ready themselves for the possible barrage of questions, but I highly doubt it. I am inclined to believe their reasoning, which is,
our breath is essential to the regulation of our mind and body, so when we breathe before we act, our actions are better. They are rational, considered and thoughtful. This is the foundation for good engagement and dialogue.
This is one reason why trauma-informed organisations and schools are spending time teaching mindfulness – more to come in a subsequent blog post.

We can all change elements of our working practice to improve our engagement and relationships with who we work and interact with. As I’m coming to understand this should be our first consideration when becoming a trauma-informed organisation, or a trauma-informed individual.
I felt like I was playing the same record last week. I was told multiple times that the answer to being…