The name Bear Roots comes from a connection to the Blackfoot teachings of the bear that have guided this work in many ways. The bear came in a dream to show us the roots of trauma experienced by historical and ongoing forces of oppression, not only of Indigenous peoples but of our many relations and extended kinship. The bear warned us that there would be many barriers along the way but that our only role was to redirect the light to guide the bear along a good path. We humbly acknowledge that we do not have the ability to heal, and that our role is to walk alongside the bear as directed by the Creator (life source). The bear can teach us many things about ways of healing through the land and (re)connecting with our innate sense of knowing by sharing its medicine with us and reminding us of who we are. In many teachings, the bear is recognized as a protector and demonstrates resourcefulness in the face of adversity.
While working within the non-profit sector, we recognized barriers within the field that did not align with our ways of knowing. During our time working within sexual violence, we witnessed the fundamental intersects of human experience and need for mental health services that reflect an understanding of trauma beyond the colonial frameworks that exist. The work that we do aims to dismantle pieces of this system by offering a safe space for authentic connection. We recognize the importance of a holistic approach to healing which incorporates spirituality and is centred upon the concept of interconnectedness.
Registered Psychologist, NIHB Provider
Oki, my name is Katrina and I was born and raised in Mohkinstsis. My mother is from Siksika Nation and I am the youngest of five girls. My Blackfoot name is Ni’tainahmahakii (One Gun Woman). This name was gifted to me by my late aunt, Esther Simon, who played a large role in my healing journey. I believe that healing comes through a meaningful source of connection. Within the field of counselling, I have had to undergo an important process of learning and unlearning which will continue to challenge me to practice in a better way. I practice from an intersectional approach and enjoy working in the overlaps of diverse presenting concerns because I believe that human experience is complex and multifaceted. I believe that my role as a counsellor is to walk alongside clients while providing a safe space to explore their story, innate resources, and ways in which we can build relationship. My lived experience shapes the way that I relate to others in a way that I believe is important to utilize in terms of building authentic connection and community.