By Julia Magsombol
Local Journalism Initiative
National Addictions Awareness Week takes place November 22 to 28, and so the Shuswap Band has created a live comedy show for the community.
On November 22, Shuswap invited Don Burnstick, a comedian and author, to have a comedy show in Columbia Valley Centre supporting addiction awareness. It runs from 7 to 8 p.m.
“[This day means] increasing the awareness of addiction. I always look at the hope for those families who are impacted by addiction. Addiction is always hard and difficult,” said Gerard Gregoire, the Aboriginal Patient Navigator of Shuswap Band.
Gregoire remembers Burnstick struggled with his own addiction and overcame it. Burnstick received treatment in the 1980s and went to a counsellor training program. Since then, he has been involved with the healing and personal wellness movement for over 30 years. He uses his humour and performance to approach ways of healing. Burnstick is a Cree from the Alexander First Nation.
“He’s impacted a lot of Native people across Canada. He is a role model, and his humour is a medicine,” said Gregoire. “I remember him smiling, laughing, and being a great storyteller. It is natural for him.”
The goal of the show is to bring the community together to bring awareness to the opioid crisis and educate on how we can support those affected by addictions. Burnstick will help support this message by providing laughter and promoting hope for the well-being of our community.