A new item has arrived at the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario that will help incorporate traditional healing practices into a clinical setting. Known as a Healing Blanket, these blankets are traditionally used in Indigenous culture to help give strength to a loved one in a time of sickness. Now, these blankets are available to patients of the Cancer Centre.
“For Indigenous patient’s sacred items are important and play a large role in our healing process,” says Dionne Nolan, Aboriginal Navigator for the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario. “Having healing blankets available to our patients is another step towards demonstrating how we are working towards creating an inclusive and culturally safe space for all patients.”
The Healing Blankets were created by members of a Cancer Talking Circle that meets once a month in Tyendinaga, ON. This circle is made up of women who have undergone cancer treatment themselves or have family members who have. Creating these blankets is their way of giving back and helping others who are going through a situation that they are familiar with.
“We know that patients who undergo cancer treatment are often cold, lose weight, have a fluctuating appetite and experience pain,” says Nolan. “A Healing Blanket will allow them to be cozy and provide a comfortable space for them to sleep and heal at the same time.”
There are currently three Healing Blankets available for patients of the Cancer Centre, with more on the way. Each of the blankets is blessed during ceremony with an Elder of the Indigenous community before being made available to patients.
To learn more about the Healing Blankets, or to inquire how you can get one for a patient, please contact Dionne Nolan, Aboriginal Navigator at Dionne.firstname.lastname@example.org or extension 3851.