Day 16: percival

Another great day here in Saskatchewan. Beginning the day at 8 am we moved west with the slightest of winds at our back. We moved quickly as we had to leave at 11 am to meet with the community of Cowessess. It was a beautiful drive with a change of scenery while driving in the valley. We met with Health Centre staff who were getting ready for a lunch at the pow wow grounds. We had a brief visit and we headed over for our noon time meet. 

Once at the grounds a great lunch was served with community members in attendance. 2 amazing dancers showcased their moves in the 34 degree heat. A hand drum honour song was offered for the Hope in the Darkness. A beautiful sight to see and listen to. Once finished we said our farewells and thanked Cowessess for their support. We exited the community thankful for the lunch, the beautiful presentation and excellent company. They sure made us feel welcomed and at home. 

We went back to the Trans Canada and continued our journey. My cousin Elayne joined us for the remainder of the day driving our support vehicle. Thank you cousin for supporting and joining us for some afternoon laughs. 

Thank you to the RCMP officers for stopping in to check in on us. We appreciate the visits and support. 

Our message today was about working together. Before we start our walks, we start with Elders and prayer. During our recent send off before this walk, I heard about goals organizations have for the communities they work with. We all have the same goal of building healthy communities and healthy young people. To have so multiple departments, organizations and agencies all delivering services and programs in silos may not be as effective as we’d like. With these approaches, there are cracks in the systems, which is where people get missed. Communication is the best way to tackle issues jointly in addressing youth wellbeing issues. 

I relate this to a task force model I have worked in that included police, mental health, education, addictions etc. We met regularly and were able to collaborate and utilize multiple resources. Tasks were created creating accountability in each of our departments, but the ultimate goal was addressing areas of concern collectively. Working together while having the same goal gets results. We can prevent those from falling through the cracks. 

A big thank you to Mitchell for sharing your story. It takes courage to share out here and promotes our effort in encouraging everyone to talk and share. When young people see us share as adults, as men, as police, it shows them they can be open as well. 

Our day ended in Purcival. The clouds approaching would have benefited us earlier but they rolled in just as we completed our day. Looking south after the walk, a beautiful rainbow. 

Again thank you Cowessess First Nation. We always enjoy being in community and your hospitality, kind hearts and support for our cause fuels our journey. 

Have a good night family and friends. Goodnight from Saskatchewan.

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