The Prince Albert Grand Council is offering a workshop this week to help people dealing with the trauma of a loved one that has gone missing or been killed.

James Smith Cree Nation Elder Shirley Sanderson is one of the people working in a support role at the event.

She says the fallout effects after a family member goes missing long term or is murdered can be far reaching.

“Our people, the First Nations, it’s hard on us, it’s hard on everybody,” she says. “Especially with the children growing up hearing this, maybe seeing it.”

In one of her roles, Henderson works with female offenders serving time at the Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge in Maple Creek.

She says sadly she often hears the same type of story over and over.

“Why, I’m in here, why I did this? My mother or my sister went missing or I’ve seen a murder. This is what you hear.”

Henderson says the only way to recover and heal from the pain and trauma of losing a loved one is by reconnecting with culture.

She says the journey can be difficult for many because of the residential school experience.

The Missing and Murdered Indigenous People wellness and awareness workshop wraps up on Thursday.

It is taking place at the Prince Albert Exhibition Centre.

(PHOTO: Willie Ermine offers a session on dream interpretation at the Prince Albert Grand Council Missing and Murdered Indigenous People wellness and awareness workshop. Photo by Fraser Needham.)