Edwina Nearhood: What are you doing to keep our community healthy?


As I travel, I have noted something very unique to the north. Believe it or not, we have a very strong sense of community. Within that community, people tend to connect well with their tribe. Your tribe is your people. The persons that really understand where you are coming from. 

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There are so many not-for-profit organizations working together for a common goal. 

There are the service people that raise money to support under privileged, there are recreation groups, sports organizations, yoga communities, seniors, hospital foundations, and so many more. Maybe you are involved in one or many. Maybe you would like to become involved in more.

The world is becoming increasingly disconnected. We can order groceries online, skip the dishes, hit the drive-thru, and talk via text. 

Our smart phones unfortunately do not create a sense of connection. Study after study show a great sense of disconnect and mental unwellness with increased usage of our smartphones. This is likely the greatest epidemic of the century. 

Mothers need community support and interaction to maintain a health nervous system. People have an overall sense of wellness when they go out and socialize. Have we fallen into the trap of being too busy to spend time with people? Have we decided it is easier to disconnect because we are lacking the social skills necessary to communicate well with people? 

Culture activities bring opportunity to come together with a sense of community and interest. Congratulations to the City of Fort St. John for hosting the Canada Day Parade. Well done, Taste of Fort St. John, as we grow cultural awareness. Thank you for the River Rats for keeping our river campsites clean and organizing family events. Thank you, Doig River First Nation for your culture days, and your drumming presence at so many community events. There are so many more community events, sports tournaments, fundraising opportunities and so much more.

Together is better. The economy may be tough for some households. I grew up in a household that lost their home in the 1980s. I never went hungry, I was surrounded by friends and family. We played games, camped together, and supported one another wholeheartedly. It takes a whole community to raise a child. 

There is an African proverb that says it takes a village to raise a child. That means an entire community must interact with children for those children to experience and grow in a safe and healthy environment. The villagers look out for the children. That does not mean an entire village is responsible for raising your children or the children of a crowd. Are you a part of that supportive environment for our future?

Now back to my original thought. We have something very special in the north. We are filled with people that care and are involved. What would happen if we would each grow that muscle just a little bit more every day? Won’t you try? It is a great way to build a stronger community.

Edwina Nearhood is a lifelong resident of Fort St. John.

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