YTC Mental Wellness Conference 2022

Cambridge Hotel & Conference Centre (3310 50 Ave, Red Deer, AB T4N 3X9)
October 2-5, 2022 

Master of Ceremonies: Monty Sunchild. The conference began with a pipe ceremony with Howard & Phyllis Mustus, followed by grand entry and opening remarks including leadership of our member First Nations and CEO Laverne Arcand. 

Keynote speakers 

  • Dr. Esther Tailfeathers, born and raised on the Blood Reserve in southern Alberta, graduated from the University of North Dakota, School of Medicine and completed her Family Medicine residency at the University of Alberta. 
  • J. R. LaRose, former Canadian football safety and motivational speaker. He originally signed with the Edmonton Eskimos in 2005 as a territorial-protected junior. He played for the Canadian Junior Football League's Edmonton Huskies; his team won the Canadian Bowl in 2005. He then played in the Canadian Football League for the Edmonton Eskimos and the BC Lions; his team won the Grey Cup in 2011.
  • Mary Black

Conference themes 

  • Impact of Colonialism & Residential Schools – Sherry Letendre & Monique Letendre
  • Trauma, Grief & Loss – Gordon Minde
  • Group Debriefing – Mental Health Professionals & Drummers
  • Medicine Wheel Teachings - Darlene Auger
  • Rhonda Spence/Chris Yellowbird – Addiction Recovery
  • MMIWG and Jingle Dress Presentation – Eva Potts & Elder
  • Healing Through Reclaiming Our Holistic Being – Charlie Letendre, Martha Letendre & Bernice Alexis
  • Self-Care - Charlene Bruno

Entertainment included the Logan Alexis Singers, the Meaning of Empathy,’ a documentary illustrating the impact of opioid abuse in Kainai First Nation, the theatre production ‘New Blood’, and George Leach's music performance. 

On-site mental health services included Elders for one-on-one sessions, mental health professionals, IRS/cultural support workers, massage therapists and reiki. 

Thank you to all participants including leadership, program managers/directors, mental wellness workers, addictions councillors, Elders and YTC members.