Lac La Biche Canadian Native Friendship Centre (LLBCNFC) will be offering free Indiginous parenting classes beginning on August 18.
Sacred Connections Indigenous Parenting will run for 12 weeks, and parents are able to pick between the night class on Tuesdays from 5 to 7:30 pm, or the afternoon class on Thursdays from 1 to 3:30 pm. There are only 10 spots available for the class due to COVID-19 regulations.
The classes are designed to teach Indigenous parents about their culture, give them a support group, and allow them to share their personal parenting experiences.
“It’s a great way for parents to come out and learn about the Indigenous culture,” said Nicole Cardinal, the Senior Team Lead at LLBCNFC.
“We want to bring parents together so they can socialize and talk about their own experiences.”
For the first class, the parents will learn about Indigenous history, how their ancestors parented, and how they can bring that into their own parenting.
“Our ancestors always had their grandparents help raise their children. So we are bringing that back, how everybody helped raise the children,” said Cardinal.
“Each person that was involved in that child’s life had their own gifts to share with them. For example, there was one that was the hunter, one that was the harvester, one that was the naturopath. Whoever had these strong traits would pass that onto the children, and so everyone had a hand in teaching the children about tradition.”
There are guest speakers that will be coming to teach the group different aspects of parenting and different life stages their children will go through. Some of the stages that will be addressed are pregnancy, birth, toddlers, and pre-teens.
For the pregnancy aspect, a doula will be coming in to discuss the beginning stages of pregnancy and how a woman’s body changes when she becomes a mother.
There will always be an elder present at every class, as elders are known to hold great importance and wisdom in Indigenous cultures.
Parents will also learn about harvesting and curating their own natural home remedies.
“We are going to do harvesting with the natural plants, flowers, and natural medicines that we have. We want parents to learn how to make their own natural medicines instead of relying on pharmaceutical drugs,” said Cardinal.
A lot of different topics will be covered throughout the 12 weeks and Cardinal is looking forward to creating a parental support group and a space to educate the parents about the Indigenous culture.
“I find a lot of parents feel very alone, and they don’t feel like they have anyone to turn to for support or advice, so programs are great because it takes parents out of the home. It helps them socialize and connect with other parents that are going through similar things,” said Cardinal.
“It takes a village to raise a child, and groups like this help to facilitate that sense of community.”
To register for the class, call Nicole Cardinal at 780-623-3249.