Recovery and the Indigenous Perspective

Room – Main Ballroom – Two-Part Session. Part 1 – 11:00 am to 12:30 pm, Part 2 – 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm. February 22nd, 2023, Hyatt Regency Centre, Calgary Alberta


  • Geri Bemister
  • Trevor Pelletier
  • Chief Keith Blake
  • Chief Vernon Saddleback
  • Jodie Two Guns
  • Ruebon Breaker
  • Scott Edwards
  • Patricia Paulson
  • Rain Pierre (sɬə́məxʷ)

Part 1 – 11:00 to 12:30

Part 2 – 1:30 to 3:00

Recovery Capital Conference

Session Description

  • Racism and healthcare
  • Mental health and addiction
  • Indigenous Health Teams
  • Trauma
  • Reconciliation

Geri Bemister – The role of trauma is complex and different in many cases for indigenous persons, incarcerated or not. The data on mortality rates, incarceration rates, and children in care are showing clearly that the approaches of status quo are in many cases, causing the numbers to increase, not decrease. Innovation towards all the systems involved is crucial to the well-being of indigenous persons.

Trevor Pelletier – Trevor comes from the Siksika Nation, he works with Iiniikokan Shelter and Recovery Center located in Siksika Nation for 7 years. He is the Shelter Manager and oversees all Programs. He is the Spiritual Leader of the Horn Society in Siksika Nation and has been part of the Society for 16 years. Trevor will be talking about how our way of life could be a great influence, how traditional programs could benefit all other traditional basic addiction treatment centres, and how they could better suit their programs with my traditional methods.

Chief Keith Blake – Chief Blake will discuss the Toward Peace Harmony and Wellbeing Report, and the role of policing in indigenous communities’ affects access to healthcare

Chief of Police Tsu’tina, is proud to lead alongside the sworn and non-sworn members of Tosguna, and to serve the beautiful community of Tsuut’ina Nation. Chief Blake believes in the importance of providing community-centered policing, adapting to meet the cultural and socioeconomic needs of the Tsuut’ina Peoples, and addressing the root causes of crime. After serving 24 years in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Keith Blake was sworn in as the 5th Chief of Police of the Tsuut’ina Nation Police Service on May 16th, 2013. Keith has been privileged to have completed all of his service in the Province of Alberta and experienced firsthand the culture, pride, and honour in being a part of the policing in seven different First Nations communities across Alberta. Keith’s operational and investigative policing experience includes both front-line uniform policing, and plain clothes duties in specialized units which included postings as a General Investigation/Major Crime Investigator, Federal Drug Unit Investigator, and Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET) Investigator and Supervisor, Detachment Commander, Emergency Response Team Leader, and Professional standards. Chief Blake is invested in advocating for First Nations Policing, raising awareness, and supporting solutions related to the challenges and triumphs of Indigenous Policing across our Country and he remains truly humbled to serve the visionary people of the Tsuut’ina Nation.

Chief Vernon Saddleback – Samson Cree Nation, Treaty 6 has served in leadership for the Samson Cree Nation since 2008. He was elected by the Samson members as a Councillor and for the last two terms as Chief. Chief Saddleback’s passion is ensuring mental health support services are accessible to vulnerable high-risk members of Samson. Outreach to community members is critical to educate and inform youth, adults, and elders of the local service providers available to assist individuals and families in their healing process. He is a co-founder of the Samson Hub group formed in 2009. Weekly hub meetings Chaired by Chief Saddleback bring together several Samson community agencies who collaborate by assessing referrals and coordinating family and mental health support services. He will share the Hub Models’ strengths and how their application lead to curbing gang activity in Samson in 2009.

Plus lived experience by Ruebon Breaker,  Siksika Nation Chief and Council Directory, Councillor Asinaipoka, Rain, Patricia, and Scott.

Learning Objectives

  • The role of intergenerational trauma on indigenous persons and innovative approaches.
  • What’s not working is based on morbidity rates and data from the front line.
  • Correctional systems, and overrepresentation, what are possible solutions?

Click on a button for more details

Alberta model

a $600 CACCF Value