The Creative Light that Shines Within

Submitted on Monday, 12/06/2021 - 12:59 pm

Hull staff uses Expressive Arts Therapy to work with families on their healing journey

Susan Bare Shin Bone, Program Facilitator with Braiding the Sweetgrass, paints a new way our young people and families immerse themselves in the power of artistic healing as she embarks on a journey to continue her education to support that healing.

Susan was recently awarded Hull Services’ Piitaasaapii Indigenous Leadership Scholarship to support her Expressive Arts Therapy Training Level Two this fall. She was accepted into the specialized expressive arts training with Carmen Richardson.

“Expressive arts therapy….is the practice of using imagery, storytelling, dance, music, drama, poetry, movement, horticulture, dreamwork, and visual arts together, in an integrated way, to foster human growth, development, and healing.” Appalachian Expressive Arts Collective (2003, pp3-4)

Susan’s identity is engrained in her Indigenous ways of being and knowing and art is rooted deeply in Indigenous culture; she strives to use her skills to support all people, but especially Indigenous people as they continue on their path to healing from intergenerational trauma.

“The expressive arts training allows me to continue to journey with Indigenous families with their healing in a respectful and caring way and to provide a process to hear their stories as they gain their voices,” says Susan. “This is similar to elders storytelling, drumming and dancing.”

She has started the process of transitioning the expressive arts principles and activities to Indigenous ways and knowing – Susan states that this will be a respectful and familiar way of healing for Indigenous people.

“Arts is a way of life in our culture through dance, smudging, storytelling, music and horticulture to name a few,” says Susan. “The expressive arts modalities are a method of coping with hurts, pains, joys, and celebration as another therapeutic venue for Indigenous people.”

Susan states that she is “honoured, grateful and humbled” to have received this scholarship. “I would like to thank Hull Services and the selection committee who all believe in my education endeavors,” says Susan.

Susan will be painting a new path towards healing and we’re excited to see all the colours she discovers.