Acclaimed author Monique Gray Smith. Photo by Joseph Jack

Acclaimed author Monique Gray Smith facilitated a workshop for child advocates, support workers and educators on Thursday, June 1, at the Crest in Prince Rupert.

The Fostering Resiliency with Indigenous Children and Families workshop provided attendees with background information about how trauma can affect not only the mind but also the long-term physical health of a person. Tools and tips were offered to positively affect the lives of the children and families they work with.

“[Fostering resiliency] means to recognize the gifts that the child has been given and then groom the child to use the gifts in the best way possible,” Gray Smith said. “It means having faith that every family has the ability to find their way.”

She added that families have the ability to heal trauma, which has occurred over generations as a result of government policies towards indigenous people and offering support can help with the process.

The event was hosted by Kate Toye, regional coordinator and regional aboriginal engagement coordinator with Success By 6. During a break in the event, Toye spoke about the importance of creating a positive ripple effect in the lives of people around us.

“When a person can look at themselves closer and realize why some things might trigger actions … and they can shift why that happens … so that they have a better outcome … their ripple effect then ripples to whoever is in their life,” Toye said. “That effect creates a positive ripple.”

Event attendee, Minnie Harris of Prince Rupert Aboriginal Head Start said that after leaving the workshop, she is more aware of how important the future is and the way in which children are treated.

“We a have a responsibility to act in a way that positively affects the lives of children,” she said.

She will release three new books this fall, including “A Journey of Reconciliation,” a book of Aboriginal stories, history and interviews.