The Salvation Army is committed to helping First Nations people and all victims of abuse in their healing journey and has partnered with The Rising Above Organization to host their National Healing Conference in Prince Rupert, BC June 4-7 to help in this endeavor. Many companies, organizations, and churches have supported this conference through donations and volunteers to help those who have suffered from abuse obtain healing, wholeness, and freedom.
The Rising Above Organization was created as a result of repeatedly hearing people’s stories of abuse and recognizing the deep negative impact abuse has had on their lives, communities, and culture. A group of First Nations leaders were convinced they had to do something. Remaining silent was no longer an option. As First Nations people they felt the need rise up and take responsibility to help their own people. In 1992 they organized a conference to talk candidly about sexual abuse and restore hope to those who had been abused. The name “Rising Above” refers to the belief that with God’s help their people could rise above the hurt and pain caused by abuse and experience life, identity, and purpose as their Creator intended.
On June 4-7, 2014, the 21st Annual National Rising Above Conference will be held at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre in Prince Rupert, BC. The main sessions will address the impact and recovery of sexual abuse and the residential school experience. Other prevalent issues such as suicide, self-esteem, and grief will be discussed in workshops. First Nations speakers will share their personal stories of abuse and healing. Sharing circles and individual professional counseling will give attendees an opportunity to share personal stories. Music throughout the conference is provided by The Rising Above band, featuring First Nations singer Howard Jolly.
Fresh IE (Rob Wilson) will open the conference with a performance, and he will be facilitating youth workshops and activities throughout the 4 days. Fresh IE is an award-winning Christian recording artist from Winnipeg Manitoba. He is the first Canadian Christian Rapper to be nominated for a Grammy. In Winnipeg, he runs a mentorship program for Youth called EDIFY (Education Development, Inspiration for Youth). He has toured throughout BC North and is committed to helping youth implement change and positive lifestyles through his ministry of music and educational/motivational sessions.
What makes Rising Above unique and effective is that it deals with underlying root issues that cause pain and dysfunction. Through stories of people who have risen above and through teaching and counseling by trained professionals from a biblical perspective, people connect with their pain at the level of the heart. This is where true and lasting healing begins. Following each conference, Rising Above provides programs to continue helping atendees along their healing journey and equip them with skills to help others.
Since 1992, people across the country have been given the resources to rise above the pain of their past and move forward in their healing journey through new life and hope in Jesus. “This conference opened my eyes, opened my memories, gave me hope,” said one attendee. Another stated, “They’re our people reaching our people… that’s what makes it so effective: to see our own people presenting on issues of sexual abuse and their personal experience to relate to it. You know it’s not just something that’s head knowledge; it’s a heart knowledge; it’s personal stories that open up our eyes and say ‘Hey, if they can get that far in life then what’s stopping me from getting there?”
When one individual is empowered to “rise above,” future generations in that person’s family and community are also helped. For more information: visit [www.risingabove.ca], email [firstname.lastname@example.org], or call (1-888-777-1380) or The Prince Rupert Salvation Army (778-884-4858 or 250-624-6180 ext 23).