The Bear Spirit Healing Journey is a project started by Pete Thompson and a group of elders from Haida Gwaii. Its purpose is to raise awareness about violence against Aboriginal people, and to bring healing to families affected by the loss of family members along the Highway of Tears.
This year the elders started in Prince George and made their way west to Prince Rupert. In many communities they had walks and ceremonial burnings. last Wednesday they did both in Burns Lake.
This project was started out respect for the lost and missing souls of our nation’s beautiful ladies. The goal is to acknowledge the missing, the found, the close calls, and the living that are still praying and looking for their loved ones. The walk raises awareness; the burning ceremony both honours the missing while helping their families find peace. The event is intended to be a multi-national and allows everyone to share in bringing hope to Northern B.C.
Pete Thompson and the elders from Haida Gwaii, the local families who have experienced losses, and local supporters, walked from the Burns Lake Native Development Corporation building along Hwy. 16 to the site of the old Rainbow Motel. At that site a ceremonial fire was lit to burn symbolic food offerings for the missing. The burning ceremony lasted about two hours. After the ceremony, all were invited back to the Burns Lake Band’s Gathering Place, for a feast.