JUNEAU, AK – SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) is honored to join Tlingit & Haida to host three Candlelight Vigil and Memorial Walk events to honor and remember loved ones lost to substance abuse during September – National Recovery Month.
In Juneau, on Saturday, September 17 at 6 p.m. the community will gather at Marine Park Pavilion, where guest speakers who are actively in recovery will share words of comfort. Community members are also welcome to share stories of their loved ones. Then, participants will walk to the Front Street Clinic together, where photos of loved ones will be displayed throughout the month.
Across the archipelago in Sitka, also on Saturday, September 17 at 6 p.m. SEARHC invites the community to meet at Crescent Harbor to walk to Totem Square, where we will also reminisce about loved ones in the community lost to substance abuse.
“National Recovery Month is a time for us to really focus on bringing more awareness to substance abuse and addiction, share resources, and celebrate those in recovery. We want all of our tribal citizens to have the best opportunities in life, overcome addiction, and be the best version of themselves. Tlingit & Haida has expanded programming around prevention, treatment and recovery, and we are proud to partner with SEARHC during National Recovery Month,” shared Richard Chalyee Éesh Peterson, Tlingit & Haida President.
Then, on Saturday, September 24 at 6 p.m. SEARHC will gather at the Healing Heart Totem Pole in Craig on Prince of Wales Island. The event will include the singing of the Healing Heart Chant by the Craig Island Dancers and a chance for community members to share stories of their loved ones.
A memorial walk with candles and roses will proceed around the loop and back to the Healing Heart Totem where participants can place their roses in a heart frame display in memory of their loved ones. Participants can also watch “The Healing Heart Totem Pole” story, a film by Ken Yates, which will be playing on screen near the totem.
All events will provide attendees with flameless candles. All are welcome to bring their own candles, roses, posters, and pictures.
“SEARHC is proud to work with Tlingit & Haida to remember our community members whose lives were lost to substance use,” said Eric Gettis, SEARHC’s Vice President of Behavioral Health. “Recovery is real and change is possible. We encourage all of our community members seeking support in their recovery journeys to reach out for assistance.”