Mountain Muskox “Healing with the Herd” Immersion Weekend

The Cause

Mountain Muskox Mentoring (MMM), located in Canmore, Alberta, was born out of a need to create a safe healing community for those who have experienced trauma in the Mountains. Mountain accidents are traumatic for those involved and can overwhelm an individual’s ability to cope, cause feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, and diminish their sense of self. As no support group existed for those experiencing mountain trauma, and with more people seeking outdoor recreation in the mountains, the need for help became real and continues to grow. MMM provides a community with compassion and understanding through educational resources, professional and peer-led support circles and retreats, and by fostering community connections through service and mentorship.

MMM is seeking funding in support of Mountain Muskox “Healing with the Herd” Immersion Weekend, a 2-day immersive retreat held in the fall 2024 bringing together Mountain Muskox therapists with potential new members, therapists, and mentors from geographic regions across Alberta. A need was identified to establish new circles and chapters in Calgary, Lethbridge, Red Deer, and communities farther north. The intent is to promote the event to people suffering trauma in regions outside the Bow Valley, with the end goal to introduce new members to MMM, seed new chapters in the province, and to spread MMM into new communities.

The weekend will focus on what it means to be a member of MMM, to engage in therapeutic exercises and learn ways to deal with loss and trauma in the mountains. The event will be held at the Rustic Old Barn Meeting Room and Yurts at Star 6 Ranch in Kananaskis country, Alberta.

Facilitated by John Coleman, PhD, and Sydney Badger, RCC, wellness and high-performance therapists, the weekend will be informed by somatic experiencing, eco-therapy, and art therapy, to strengthen optimism, resiliency, and growth. Learning is involved, community is key.

Participants will be invited to be part of a welcoming, empowering, and laughter-loving community, and to:
•A bit more about our nervous system
•Why and how we are wired for connection
•How our brain, body and community respond to trauma
•Tools to deepen and expand ones’ connection to self and others

•Of being with community who understand
•Confronting a feeling of being “stuck”, blocks and limits with compassion and courage
•Celebrate stepping into a sense of relief, lightness and hope
•Being on the land with cool people

Who Will it Benefit?

Mountain Muskox Mentorship (MMM) was founded on a need to provide a community support for people of shared experience, where no other supports were available, and complements the work of professional psychologists whose clients have experienced mountain trauma. As such, MMM understands that belonging and community is very important and engages sound tools, methods, and curriculum for grief, PTSD, and trauma to support community and belonging for healing and strength.

The 2-day immersive retreat will directly benefit participants who have experienced loss or trauma in the mountains. There is a more than average high rate of suicide amongst those who have experienced severe loss and trauma ( The retreat becomes part of one’s healing journey, providing a safe place where they can feel part of a group, an inclusive community of individuals who understand the power of healing through trauma together. Program benefits will reach far beyond individuals attending the retreat. As participants heal and grow in resilience and strength, so too are they able to reconnect and strengthen relationships with their families, friends, and colleagues. Establishing new chapters throughout the province, will extend the reach of the healing circles to benefit all mountain goers.