Dr. Auger has been training women to become Wiwip’son Therapists for the last 15 – 17 years. The first lady trained with Darlene for approximately 5-10 years was Beverley Hope (Bagnall), originally from BC, now living in Yellowknife. She now works in the Northwest Territories, utilizing the healing swing in her social work and trauma healing work.
The second lady that Dr. Auger has recently finished training is Muriel Lee, also originally from BC but married and has family in Maskwacis, AB. Muriel trained with Dr. Auger for 5 years. Muriel is slowly incorporating the healing swing into her already established reiki practice. Muriel Lee is a beautiful and respected Elder. When she came to Darlene to acquire the training of Wiwip’son Healing; she offered a trade. As in the old Indigenous (Cree – Nehiyaw or Nahkawiyiniw), way of doing things, when we want something, we offer something in trade. So it went, that both Darlene and Muriel have been learning from one another over the last 5 years, sitting together in ceremony, in healing, in singing, in tears, in laughter, in mishaps and clumsy efforts to practice one another’s gift, medicine.
During this period of time the trainees, individually spent time with Dr. Auger, learning about the spiritual teachings of the swing and accompanying her to workshop presentations and assisting her with offering the swing therapy. This is the old way of learning – we learn by watching, listening and doing. There are no books to read, no papers to write. Your challenge will not be that of academic rigour but that of personal insight and growth as you develop your level of knowledge, skills and attitude to take on this work of loving our people back to health and wellbeing and encouraging people to be their own medicine/healers.
The University Nuhelotine Thaiyotsin Nistameyimakanak Blue Quills in St. Paul Alberta will be offering a course on Indigenous therapeutic techniques, within their Indigenous Psychology 4 year BA program starting Fall of 2019, in which Wiwipson (Swing) Therapy will be reviewed.
There are 3 types of training for teachers or healing facilitators and therapists that Dr. Auger provides, as follows:
Training for Teachers:
I have developed a resource for children/youth (ages 5 to 18 +) that can be used to teach Indigenous (Cree) values, laws and traditional parenting practices. The kit includes a 5 foot Tipi, a baby swing, a baby in a moss-bag and 4 children’s books on the traditional Cree teachings of the swing, moss-bag, tipi and bellybutton; a teacher’s guide is in the process of being developed as a number of teachers have asked for one.
Training for Facilitators:
This is very specific, concise, in service training, for people who work in organizations, agencies or institutions who would like to offer ‘swing healing sessions’ for relaxation and nurturing to their clients or staff. It is a 3-day training ‘land-based’ or ‘practical’ training course. The trainee (usually an employee of the agency) will receive a certificate of completion. The completion of this course allows the trainee to utilize the swing as a form of therapy within their agency ONLY.
Training for Healers/Therapists:
This training is broad and extensive; it can take 5 to 10 years because it is based upon the principles and ethics of Indigenous (Cree) laws and rules of engagement and learning within an ‘Oskâpew’ or ‘Oskinîkiskwew’ (an apprentice or helper) context. This requires personal commitment and ceremonial rigour and sacrifice. The trainee must offer up a pipe to work with the teacher, then travel and sit with the teacher for a number of years, learning the vision, the stories, the teachings, and the practice while assisting the teacher in all ways of the work. It takes years for the trainee to develop the insight, the patience and the skill to get out of their own way while FASTING and attending ceremony; creating space and sacred agency for the swing to become part of their life. Taking on this kind of work requires a lot of personal development – one must find love for self and peace within in order to be able to offer this to others.