Reconciliation Workshops

The Winnipeg Foundation


Returning to Spirit
Devon Bushie, participant of Returning to Spirit’s reconciliation workshop.

Devon Bushie admits he was drinking and partying too much back in 2012. He was suspended from work and his uncle insisted he go through Returning to Spirit’s intensive reconciliation workshops.

Today, Mr. Bushie is a poised, thoughtful and confident individual. He has a steady job and a promotion looks likely soon. He’s in a solid relationship, he and his girlfriend have their own house, and he’s helping raise his 7-year-old stepson. Among the young men he grew up with on Hollow Water First Nation, he says he is the only one who is not in a gang, in jail or dead.

Returning to Spirit offers two-stage, multi-day workshops designed to address the painful intergenerational impacts of residential schools. For both Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants, the goal is reconciliation – within individuals and between peoples. Workshops help build healthy relationships and shift conversations from resentment and blame to hope and opportunity.

Thanks to the program, Mr. Bushie says he feels whole as a person. He was able to tackle the root cause of his drinking, express gratitude to the grandfather who raised him, and build strong relationships.

Now, he’s helping others do the same. Mr. Bushie is working to become a trainer with Returning to Spirit, empowering youth to change their lives through the program that changed his.

A grant from Community Building Funds is helping Returning to Spirit provide more reconciliation workshops to Winnipeggers. Community Building Funds have been built by donors from all walks of life to serve a wide range of community needs.