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The healing journey

The healing journey
Jorgina Sunn sings a song from her soon to be released album during Parkland Restorative Justice’s second annual Spring Banquet in the Woods on April 22. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

At the low points in her life, Jorgina Sunn never thought she would be where she is today.

From her time in foster homes, to the racism and bullying she experienced at school, to life as a drug addict on the streets of Calgary, to her time as a gang member, Sunn has experienced a lot of low points.

However, it’s those experiences that give her the drive and determination to do what she does today.

“I think that it’s almost ironic that I draw now on those moments when I had absolutely no hope,” Sunn said during an interview on Saturday. “There were many, many days and nights … that I had in that state and in that place.”

Her lowest point turned out to be the best thing that happened to her. Sunn was convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to spend six months in a healing lodge.

As an aboriginal woman who had not grown up on a reserve, the experience as life changing, and but the effect wasn’t immediate.

Shortly after she was released, Sunn started using drugs again and found herself homeless and back in Calgary. It was only after she arrived in Saskatoon and got involved with STR8-UP, an organization dedicated to helping gang-members leave the gang lifestyle that things turned around.

“The program, atleast from my perspective, has taught me to be self-aware, to heal, to embrace a path of resiliency,” she said.

While Sunn’s life hasn’t been perfect since then, it does keep “getting better and better.”

She’s turned her experiences into something positive, using them as a gateway to connect with everyone from drug-addicts to abused women.

For the rest of this story, please see the April 25 online or print edition of the Daily Herald.