An Indian residential school workshop is being held in Witset next week aimed at helping survivors understand and cope with issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

DeWayne Robinson, a Family Support Worker with the Moricetown Band, says a lot of people in the community are living with trauma caused by abuse and other experiences at residential schools.

That can lead to anger and other negative emotions that need to be understood explains Robinson.

Working as a drug and alcohol counsellor, Robinson says healing is the crucial step for improving one’s life.

“Attending (the workshop) would give a person a better understanding of one’s self along with education of the effects of Indian residential school, Indian day school and the 60’s scoop,” says Robinson.

“The healing processes are out there in many communities like alcohol and drug counsellors whether they’re in the First Nations communities or local friendship centres.”

Robinson says he was informed that there were 32 residential school survivors from Witset.

Both of Robinson’s parents attended residential school. He says his mother had a less traumatic experience in day school than his father due to the fact that she looked more Caucasian.

As a former RCMP officer in Smithers, Robinson says he has seen first hand the systemic issues around residential schools and other issues that the broader community faces.

Due to the experience his parents had, Robinson was inspired to get involved in the work of bringing healing to people and making a difference.

The workshops will be on the 26th and 27th with presentations and a healing circle. Dean Wilson and Elder Murray Smith of the Indian Residential School Society will be presenting.