Fort Good Hope Goba “Light of the Horizon”

The Cause

In recent years, cancer emerged as a growing concern among Fort Good Hope residents. We feel that cancer has become more and more common, and more and more people are dying from cancer. Community members do not have enough knowledge about cancer and are very afraid. In 2013, the Goba Group was established. Goba sits a number of key people. Chief Greg Laboucan, Melinda Laboucan (Wellness Coordinator), Northern/Coop Store Managers, Sonia Manuel (Health Promotion), Michelle Read (HF/WW), Tommy Savoie (Nurse in Charge), Angela Grandjambe (community Rep), Florence Barnaby (Elder), Vicky Orlias (Elder Cancer Survivor), Mary Masuzumi (Coordinator NWT Breast Cancer Action group), Dakota Erutse (Youth Rep), Arthur Tobac (YLC Rep), Doris Manuel (VSC). February 2015. The Goba Group developed its first strategic plan in the NWT at the Gathering Wisdom Workshop, group members established their core values, vision, mission, five-year goals, and objectives for the first year of implementation. Community leaders and residents working hand in hand. We are a concerned community members who volunteer our time to reduce the fear of cancer in Fort Good Hope by educating the public and supporting cancer patients and their families. We aim to make a difference across the Northwest Territories by sharing our knowledge and experience with other communities. Goba has a strong desire to work together for change. We are action-oriented and driven to get things done. Group membership represents a variety of backgrounds, jobs, and life experiences. This gives the group knowledge in many different areas. Goba has passion, and commitment to making a difference in the community. We hold Knowledge of traditional medicine and culture. Within this year Goba is holding once a month cancer & grieving circles, bringing art/sewing therapy for participants, picking, harvesting and learning our traditional medicine. Check us out on facebook Fort Good Hope Goba "light of the Horizon".

Who Will it Benefit?

We believe the entire community and NWT, aboriginal and non-aboriginal residents will benefit greatly from this program. As part of our traditions, we use sharing circles as a way of providing group support for people dealing with health issues such as cancer.

Our elders have used this practice (Sharing Circle's) for generations as a way to heal. By individuals sharing one's story and experiences of going through or have gone through the cancer treatment process, it helps support other community members and their families. A sharing of one's journey is a great teacher, for it acknowledges ones pain, laughter, and love we experience can bring us closer together and helps us to learn from one another's experiences.

Here are the benefits of sharing circles:
- helps to begin the healing process
- helps to promote understanding
- helps to build trust
- helps to share common experiences
- helps to realize we are not alone
- helps to create a safe environment

Another benefit of this program will be to look at alternative medicine. Alternative medicine has a number of benefits. It is a practice of consuming a medicine without the use of drugs. This may involve traditional medicines(spruce gum, birch bark etc..), self-awareness, biofeedback, or acupuncture. With alternative medicines, a person becomes an active participant in techniques involved in the treatment process. Individuals understand their physical body functions well and understand the way it relates to their health. One primary objective of alternative medicines is to relieve people from depending largely on drug usage and help them manage their lives naturally.