Conference in Prince Rupert focuses on rising above

A Christian conference hopes to restore hope in victims of abuse this summer, with registration now taking place.

The Rising Above Organization will host its National Healing Conference in Prince Rupert this June, in partnership with the Prince Rupert Salvation Army.

Led by First Nations speakers, main conference sessions will address the impacts and recovery of sexual abuse and residential school experiences, with other prevalent issues like suicide, self-esteem and grief also being discussed.

Speakers will include Howard Jolly, Selma Poulin, Mervin Cheechoo, Steve Masterson and Cindy Molacek, who will share their personal stories of abuse and their healing process. Through sharing circles and individual professional counseling sessions, participants will have the opportunity to share their stories to help further their healing journeys and equip them with the skills to help others.

First Nations Christian rapper Fresh IE will open the conference with a performance and will be facilitating youth workshops and activities throughout the four day event. The recording artist runs a mentorship program in Winnipeg and is dedicated to helping aboriginal youth. Fresh IE was the first Christian rapper to be nominated for a Grammy in Canada, and has toured Northern B.C. He has held various shows in Prince Rupert in the recent past.

The Rising Above band, featuring singer and facilitator Jolly, will also provide musical entertainment throughout Prince Rupert's conference.

The Rising Above Organization formed in 1992 by First Nations Christian leaders to address significant issues caused by abuse among aboriginal people. The organization planned a conference to give people and churches tools to help restore hope to those in need.

The National Healing Conference will take place at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre in Prince Rupert from June 4-7. People seeking more information or to register are encouraged to contact the Rising Above Organization at or 1-888-777-1380, or the Prince Rupert Salvation Army at 250-624-6180 ext. 23.

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