Carry the Kettle Nakoda Nation, Sask. –
Many members of the Carry the Kettle Nakoda Nation gathered Friday to raise awareness about addictions and drug use in their community.
The day resonated with 15-year-old Mykayla Huntinghawk, who no longer lives with her addiction-stricken mother.
“I haven’t spoken to her in a long time, but now I feel so much better that I’m not with her and her addiction,” Huntinghawk said.
Having a day to raise awareness about drug addiction motivated Huntinghawk not to go down the same path as her mother.
“I didn’t follow a path, I didn’t go down the steps that she did,” Huntinghawk said. “I did no such thing. I’m going to be the best person I can be to not become her.
Chief Brady O’Watch grew up surrounded by drug addiction due to the lack of available programs and funding. He knew that some resources like a community center could help.
“I don’t want my nieces, nephews, cousins and my First Nation youth to grow up with what I’ve been through,” O’Watch said.
Last year, Carry the Kettle officially opened its Youth Community Center to provide after-school activities for the community.
“What I’m proud of is our school and how the youth centers and youth mentors were there to help the young people in our school and how they walk hand in hand to help our children,” said O’Watch.
Della Thompson is one of the youth workers at the center and hopes Friday’s event will inspire young people to think before they use.
“Every young person in this room knows someone who uses or their friends or someone we’ve lost in our community are affected by (drugs),” Thompson said.
Friday’s event helped show Huntinghawk that there are resources available to help him deal with his situation.
“When I was younger, I never really talked about how I felt (and) kept it to myself,” Huntinghawk said. “Now I can talk about how I feel.”
Carry the Kettle Nakoda Nation is about 80 kilometers northeast of Regina.