Eastern Door Centre
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Eastern Door Centre

The Eastern Door is an Indigenous centre for assessment, intervention and prevention of complex developmental conditions related to generational trauma like FASD. It integrates western health practice with the healing traditions of the community.

The name Eastern Door was given to us by Elder Eva Sock one of our first Directors. The Mi'kmaq people are known as the people of the Eastern Doorway – they live where the sun first appears. The Eastern Door Centre works as a doorway to help the youth who come to the centre connect to the services they need to grow and develop.

Two-Eyed Seeing

Mi’kmaq Elders in Elsipogtog spoke of a kind of healing that would integrate traditional spirituality with western health practice. Albert and Murdena Marshall Mi’kmaq Elders from Eskasoni named this process Two-Eyed Seeing. In Two-Eyed Seeing one eye looks through a traditional lens and the other looks through a scientific lens. When we use two eyes for seeing, instead of one, our vision changes and there is more depth in our perspective. In this approach the ‘wisdom of the elders’ informs the scientific perspective of professionals working in the school and community systems. Our focus is relationship and an understanding of how we are all connected.

Trees with roots touchingGo into the forest, you see the birch, maple, pine. Look underground and all those trees are holding hands. We as people have to do the same.

— Mi’kmaw Spiritual Leader, Healer, and Chief Charles Labrador

The Circle

Elder Joe John Sanipass told us that the Mi'kmaq people traditionally used a seven direction circle framework to guide them.

Seven Direction Circle

The Circle is sacred to traditional people all over the world. It reminds us that all of life is connected and continuous. Unbroken. No point on a circle is better than any other; it implies movement and flow. The circle helps us understand and respect the relationship of all things within a system and also the need for balance. Noel Milliea the traditional healer on our Eastern Door diagnostic team uses the Medicine Wheel teachings in his practice. A Two-Eyed Seeing Assessment Wheel is used by the ED multi-disciplinary diagnostic team.

Medicine Wheel Tools

The Medicine Wheel tools for screening, intervention and prevention are used in the Eastern Door model as part of our Two-Eyed Seeing process— integrating mainstream best practice within a culturally safe and holistic framework.

The MW Tools were developed by Dr. Lori Cox in collaboration with the traditional Elders in the community and scientific Elders involved in mainstream clinical practice.