There are many opinions on what is best practice when it comes to dealing with the serious addiction crises that is prevalent in today’s society and certainly Lethbridge is no exception. However, most people agree that the “Four Pillars” approach, harm reduction, prevention, treatment and enforcement, generally gives best outcomes.
Many reasons can be attributed to addiction, but homelessness and personal trauma are very often the main causes. The speaker will describe his Residential School trauma, his addiction struggle and eventual recovery. He will also talk about the benefits of helping others who struggle with addiction and his establishment of the organization, Kii Mah Pii Pii Tsin (Kindness to Others) Renewal and Healing Centre.
The mandate of Kii Mah Pii Pii Tsin is to support and advocate for the at-risk and vulnerable members of our community. The goal is to create specialized healing in trauma, grief, suicide intervention and also have a cultural component to the program, possibly at a facility located on Blackfoot Confederacy territory.
Speaker: Alvin Mills
In his youth, Blood Tribe member Alvin Mills was a gifted athlete as a boxer and playing multiple sports at a high enough level to earn a basketball scholarship. But it wasn’t his athleticism that would come to define the course of his life as may have been expected, it was his troublesome relationship with alcohol and drugs that took him to where he is today. Alvin is a survivor of Residential School and has struggled most of his adult years with addiction.
Alvin was incarcerated for periods of his life as he was unable to deal with the issues and trauma from Residential School that he had buried inside for so long. Finally, after someone stabbed him in the throat, Alvin entered treatment and began to work on the decades long internal trauma and grief to finally come to terms with it. He admits he still struggles, but has now found new purpose in life by helping others.