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Acclaimed First Nations healer and therapist wins Reconciliation Award – National Observer

July 20th 2023

After leaving residential school in the late 1950s, Klith-waa-taa would wade into a frigid river to brush himself with sacred cedar branches, cleansing away the trauma and negativity imposed upon him as a child.

The traditional practice he learned as a boy at his grandfather’s side became vital to Klith-waa-taa, or Dr. Barney Williams, during his healing and path to sobriety at age 26 in 1965.

“We would go into a river to bathe and ask for strength, but also to ask the Creator to look out for other people that needed help,” said Williams.

“We usually go for four rounds in the water. The last round is for yourself — the first three are for other people.”

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