The mission of the Comeback Warriors is to help the lost, hungry, and forgotten. Through reconnection to the land, culture, and our communities, we aim to rebuild broken individuals and families affected by trauma and substance use. Living on the land, we will develop self-sufficient camp communities, promoting food and power sovereignty within First Nations communities.
Our vision is to build a network of land-based camps across Turtle Island, and building a camp society that fosters healing for people and their families. The camps are to be Indigenous-led, providing opportunities for camp members to grow and thrive, with ongoing support for recovery. Coming back to our traditional teachings and ways of life, we will heal ourselves and our communities.
The Comeback Warriors serves to help our relatives who need healing from trauma and who have been impacted by substance use and addiction. We have developed a program of healing through a two-eyed seeing approach, utilizing both conventional, evidence-based therapies and traditional medicine approaches. The foundation of our program is using land-based, traditional teachings with a reconnection to culture and ceremony.
Our main camp provides a safe place for our relatives to come back home. The camp is our main site for detoxification and recovery, and also provides a home community for our relatives to heal. The main camp runs year round, with activities and teachings for each season. As our relatives progress in their recovery, opportunities are provided to take a further active role in camp through peer mentorship and supporting activities in local communities. The main camp also provides a space for land-based day programs, retreats, and culture camps.
The Warriors Society (WS) is a group of men and women who have found a path to recovery from addictions by connecting to traditional teachings, culture and Ceremony. We have dedicated our work to helping others struggling with trauma, substance use, and addictions by helping them find this path.
The origins of the WS lies in the creation of the Warriors of Hope, a non-profit organization started in 2020 by Nicole Niesner & Shylo Stevenson in response to the ongoing houselessness crisis in Regina, Saskatchewan. Of note, this group was responsible for establishing the 2021 tent encampment in Pepsi Park, named Camp Hope. The camp was run by the Warriors of Hope Ian Betz-Wood, Chasity Delorme, Kelsey Dumont, Alysia Johnson, Cathleen Macphee, Nicole Niesner, Casey Phillips, Jolee Sasakamoose, and Shylo Stevenson. This grass roots team of local volunteers set up the camp, served meals, and provided donated items (such as clothing and basic toiletries) to camp relatives. In addition, the team brought medical and social services support to the community. Through continued advocacy, the Warriors of Hope were able to secure additional shelter space in the city, where Camp Hope relatives were able to access shelter and ongoing support for the winter.
Building off the successes of Camp Hope, the Warriors of Hope continued to support community activities. Recognizing the lack of supports for communities in crisis, a quick response team was developed to respond with volunteer help and mental health supports. The team responded following the events on James Smith Cree Nation in September, 2022; despite the trauma that occurred, it was clear that little help was available from different agencies. The team additionally responded to communities in the Kamsack area and George Gordon First Nation, both experiencing different tragedies.
The Warriors of Hope and the Comeback Society merged in March, 2023 with a vision to create “The Comeback Warriors”. As an Indigenous-led non-profit organization, the Comeback Society amplifies Indigenous voices and culture by promoting food sovereignty, cultural programming, cultural collaborations, and land-based education. Bringing together this shared vision of strength coming from our old roots, the Warriors Society operates as a branch of the central tree; the focus of the Warriors Society will be helping our relatives heal from addiction, through the support of the Comeback Society.