Moving through

Healing our communities, reauthoring our stories


So often we hear, “Can’t we just move on? Move on from Residential Schools. Move on from a history of racism and oppression. Move on from living in the past. Can’t we just get on with it?”

This stream is about moving through, because we believe we can never just “get back to normal” after significant loss and hurt. We can pretend to move on, but then nothing really moves. We become stuck, and the underlying oppression, frozenness and grief remain.

Andrea and Chene bring together two stories—the story of Indigenous genocide in Canada and the story of Apartheid in South Africa. These histories are linked, as part of our global history of colonization. How could our healing and transformation also be linked? What can we learn together, as we weave our healing journeys in solidarity across continents? And who else wants to join us, linking their own stories and rituals of “moving through”?

In this stream we will practice re-authoring the stories that define us. We will model a way forward that draws on our own healing wisdom and rituals, and we will discover new rituals together. We will witness the light and dark of one another’s histories. Through story, music, ritual and movement, we will reclaim our interconnectedness with each other and the land.

Andrea Currie is Saulteaux Métis from Manitoba. She is a psychotherapist, writer, musician, and teacher. Her experience working in healing and the arts with Indigenous peoples, the African Nova Scotian community, and street-involved people have blessed her with an abundance of learning about resilience and how healing happens. She sources strength and inspiration from the wisdom and musical traditions of the Métis, Mi'kmaq, Anishnabe, and Nova Scotia Black communities, and grounds herself with ceremony and mindfulness practice.

Chené Swart is author of Re-authoring the World and an accomplished international narrative consultant, coach and trainer. Of Afrikaner descent and based in South Africa, she completed her doctoral studies in Narrative Therapy in 2006 and then successfully translated that work into the organisational and community context.

In more recent years, Chené has trained consultants and coaches in South Africa, the USA, Russia and Belgium. She teaches re-authoring leadership practices as part of the faculty for Duke Corporate Education and is guest lecturer at the University of Stellenbosch’s Business School and at the Kaospilot School for innovative thought leaders and entrepreneurs in Denmark. Chené has also been working as a facilitator in the field of diversity and inclusion since 2008 with clients such as AngloAmerican Platinum, Investec and ABSA.

At the heart of Chené’s narrative re-authoring approach are ways of working and being with people that ignite the honour, dignity and beauty of their lives. In June 2018 she co-led a stream at THRIVE with Sobaz Benjamin on “Shaping our Future through Stories—Welcoming the Stranger, Opening to Difference.”

Susan Szpakowski