After experiencing a shift in her reality, Cindy Crowe started Blue Sky Community Healing Centre in 2005 to assist people with empowerment and self-healing
Cindy Crowe emanates the power of healing and understanding, and this comes as no surprise. As the creator and leader of Blue Sky Community Healing Centre, Crowe’s life hasn’t been the same since she experienced a significant burn out in 2004 and embarked on the creation of Blue Sky in 2005.
“It was the first time I permitted myself the time and space for what my soul and spirit wanted to do,” she says of this movement from her own consulting firm into creating Blue Sky.
She noticed people were drawn to her and felt a spiritual connection prior to the creation of Blue Sky but didn’t understand how or why until pairing up with an important mentor to guide her through this spiritual trek.
Since she wasn’t raised with the Indigenous culture, this mentorship was her entrance into her life’s work.
Peeking through the clouds
Blue Sky Community Healing Centre provides Indigenous Worldview Training called One Tribe and inspires self-discovery and self-healing for individuals in an environment that promotes love, unity, value, and the importance of communal contribution.
Crowe says healing is done through the creator and the universe and Blue Sky, made up of Indigenous and non-Indigenous volunteers on their board of directors, provide the mechanisms and opportunities for people to understand how to connect with this element of self-healing.
Blue Sky operated in commercial space on Victoria Ave for five years but closed in 2018 due to an increase in break-ins and vandalism. Even with a brick-and-mortar closure, Blue Sky’s work continued.
“We needed to look at something else,” Crowe says, and although the closure broke her heart, she knows the future of Blue Sky requires a space to optimize the work they’re providing for the community of Thunder Bay.
The light in the storm
Crowe’s work reaches every corner in Thunder Bay. She just finished a two-year contract with the Thunder Bay jail doing the spiritual and cultural support for the inmates that ended in September. Although it was one of the more rigorous programs she’s worked on, Crowe beams with pride when discussing her work with the men and the progress she witnessed.
They also did work with patients at the forensic mental health unit at the hospital. But when Code Orange began, for their safety, Crowe pulled her staff away from in-person work.
“A business or industry or government would hire us to come in and bring some cultural appreciation teachings to them and that would also serve the purpose of the teaching lodge but we weren’t able to do any of those [in 2020].”
Although COVID-19 has kicked these in-person workshops out the door and impacted the ability to continue in-person work, Crowe plans to continue her work through the magic of technology and virtual workshops.
Clear skies ahead
Crowe’s dream is to create a space on her own land. With 135 acres in Neebing, she believes it is the perfect place and opportunity to provide on-the-land healing.
Although capital dollars are hard to come by, she has a plan for cabins and a common area as a new space for Blue Sky to give people the space and community they’ve been providing since 2005.
“Giving people the space and the opportunity to do whatever internal work they need to do… Maybe that’s through ceremony, maybe that’s through chatting and sharing, maybe that’s through spending time with nature. Whatever mechanism they need, I’m going to do my best to support them.”
She says this has been the goal and the vision since the beginning.
Although there are still so many unknowns, Crowe is taking calls and doing her best to meet these requests through virtual workshops and outdoor ceremonies when weather allows.
Visit Blue Sky Community Healing Center on Facebook to keep up with the current work they’re doing and visit their website for a more in-depth discovery of how they provide empowerment through self-healing in the community.