Conference on trauma hopes to have created discussion

Explorer Hotel
Explorer Hotel. (Photo supplied by MyTrueNorthNow.com staff).
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This past Monday, the Government of the Northwest Territories held a conference on Trauma and any and all outcomes related to the impacts.

The conference had Education professionals from across the Northwest Territories and the Yukon in attendance, along with professionals from 17 organizations and groups. In all, more than 270 individuals registered for the training at The Explorer Hotel.

“I think for me, it’s a calling for trying to create a world that is a kinder, gentler, more compassionate space.”

The event was held by the Department of Education, Culture and Employment and facilitated by Kim Barthel, one of the most renowned experts in trauma. Barthel has worked with many people to ‘help rebuild a sense of control and empowerment.’ One of the most recognizable people that she’s been able to work with is former National Hockey League All-Star, Theoren Fleury, with this most recent conference focusing on her time with Theo.

Theo and I met back in 2012 at a conference,” says Barthel. “It was a very serendipitous way because I was speaking about trauma. Theo came up to me after and said, ‘YOU! You just saved my life; and you’re going to work with me for the rest of your life.’ We later decided to write a book and that became ‘Conversations with a Rattlesnake.’

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One would imagine a job that forces you to deal with stressful people would be in itself, very stressful. Barthel says that she wants to bring awareness to communities. Why do people do what they do when they face trauma? How does that change their brain? These are questions she wants people to discuss.

It’s kind of in my DNA to try to understand humans in how they hurt each other, but also in how they care about each other,” Barthel reasons. “I think for me, it’s a calling for trying to create a world that is a kinder, gentler, more compassionate space.

Barthel will be off on her journey across the country, going from city to town, and stretching it even further to a global scale. She was away for 333 days last year, talking about trauma around the world.

That discussion continues.


She is looking to release another book, titled the ‘Power of Me Too’. It’s about what happens when people come together to tell their stories.

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