A special report from BCFI volunteer Candice Archer
Today I attended a community ceremony for Indigenous People's Day at Kwìkwèxwelhp Healing Village, where Cheryl Redfern is one of the book club facilitators.
BCFI can be enriching not only for the inmates we read and talk with, but amongst its volunteers. The experiences we share from volunteering in the prison book clubs are deeply meaningful and rewarding to us, and through this we connect with each other, and sometimes this connection develops into a wonderful friendship.
Cheryl and I met at a BCFI volunteer gathering not so long ago, and since then we have had several great conversations, a few moments of serendipity, and shared some profoundly moving experiences, such as the ceremony we were welcomed into today at Kwìkwèxwelhp. We see the good work that is being done there, the healing taking place, and we see what is possible when people have the right resources, support and community to turn their lives around.
I cannot articulate enough praise for Kwìkwèxwelhp, and that seems to be a sentiment shared by the staff, the residents, other volunteers, and the Sts'ailes (Chehailis) First Nations, on whose land it resides. I can only hope to see more facilities like this become available to those who need them.
I'm very grateful to have shared such an important and meaningful day with a dear friend and fellow BCFI volunteer.