Campbell River hospital workers thanked for hard work during pandemic

Michelle Crosby Director of Clinical Services Delivery for the Campbell River (left) accepts a hand-carved paddle from Cory Cliffe of the 7 Generations Stewards Society. Photo by Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River MirrorMichelle Crosby Director of Clinical Services Delivery for the Campbell River (left) accepts a hand-carved paddle from Cory Cliffe of the 7 Generations Stewards Society. Photo by Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror
The paddle was a thank you for hospital staff’s difficult work during the pandemic. Photo by Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River MirrorThe paddle was a thank you for hospital staff’s difficult work during the pandemic. Photo by Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror
From left are Genesis Hunt-Higginson, Cory Cliffe, James Quatell and Shawn Decaire as Quatell speaks. Photo by Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River MirrorFrom left are Genesis Hunt-Higginson, Cory Cliffe, James Quatell and Shawn Decaire as Quatell speaks. Photo by Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror
From left are Cory Cliffe, Shawn Decaire and James Quatell performing a song at the event. Photo by Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River MirrorFrom left are Cory Cliffe, Shawn Decaire and James Quatell performing a song at the event. Photo by Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror
From left are Genesis Hunt-Higginson, Cory Cliffe, James Quatell and Shawn Decaire performing a song during the event. Photo by Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror

The 7 Generations Stewards Society visited the Campbell River Hospital on Thursday to show hospital staff appreciation for over two years of difficult work throughout the pandemic.

Bearing hundreds of cookies (many of which were baked by Tianna Michael), roses for each staff member and a beautiful hand-carved wooden paddle, the society, which focuses on youth, Indigenous knowledge and environmental stewardship, led by Cory Cliffe, paid a visit to the Gathering Place at the hospital for a ceremony to thank front line care workers for their dedication to the community over the past few years.

The hospital is just the first of many such visits planned for the next few months. Cliffe said they would be thanking other emergency workers as well. He said he had the idea last year, but that the organization was not quite ready to undertake the project. However thanks to the success of their cultural workshops they are now in a better position to do so.

“This year, I made a promise that any of the workshops, the devil’s club necklace, devil’s club salve making and things like that… any of the workshops that we were going to put on would give back to this program to make this happen,” he said. “We get to come here to the hospital and show some appreciation to the people who have been risking their lives for the last two years. They’ve really done an amazing job for our community, just ensuring that the service is always available, even through times that staff was at a huge shortage.

“It’s important that things like the hospital, or the RCMP are still out on the streets, even our paramedics, our fire fighters,” Cliffe said. “I’m really excited for this year because we get to approach all these organizations and just say thank you and let them know that our community loves them for what they do.”

Cliffe was joined by James Quatell and Shawn Decaire in drumming and singing before welcoming North Island Hospital – Campbell River Elder in Residence Puglas (Sheryl Thompson) who held a welcoming prayer. From there, Quatell spoke, reminding people that the intention behind the Gathering Place was to be a place where people could come and recuperate mentally during difficult times — particularly like those that have occurred over the last few years.

“The gathering place has no restrictions about who comes in here… it’s for everybody who utilizes this place,” Quatell said. “The place has got the medicine…The medicine takes care of your spirit. That’s exactly what this place is.”

Cliffe acknowledged the hard work that has been done by the people who work in the hospital, saying that “Our community loves you immeasurably and with immense respect.

“The people who operate in this place have touched my family and every family in this community. This is something that should happen at least every year to call out our frontline workers and recognize them for the sacrifices they make: the long shifts, the time away from their families, the long term education that they take and the dedication that they put into university so they can… care for the most important part of everybody’s life,” he said. “You are truly the guardians of our community. I raise my hands and I thank you.”

From there, he presented director of clinical services delivery for Campbell River, Michelle Crosby, with the carved paddle.

Staff were able to pick up cookies and flowers throughout the rest of the day as they came on or left their shifts.

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marc.kitteringham@campbellrivermirror.com

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