Mark B. Is a member of the Blackfoot Nation, Blood Reserve from Southern Alberta. Mark is a residential school survivor as well as someone who endured the “sixties scoop” in Canada where indigenous children were taken from their families & put into the care of non-indigenous families.
Due to being placed into a family that was not practicing his culture nor Indigenous Mark never felt connected to his own spirit. Mark ran away at the young age of eleven living/surviving on the street. While living the street life he became a an addict living a hard-core lifestyle on the downtown Eastside (DTES) of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Mark lived a trauma based life since birth either being the victim or victomizing other addicts that crossed his path.
Mark has now been clean and sober since 2007 when he to chose to change how he moved through life, and started to look closer at what had lead him into his substance use & how he would recover with help from others in the recovery programs of NA/AA. Even though he was able to completely stop using drugs and alcohol, Mark was still searching for aid out side of the western models of therapy introduced by colonization so that he could succeed in dealing with the depression/anxiety (trauma) that plagued him by connecting to nature & indigenous culture.
In 2019 Mark made a decision to try alternative medicine approach with the support of Sapha who had shared for a few years his experience and Success working with ayahuasca.
“Sapha shared that I would be able to live a better quality of life and deal with the trauma that I had endured over the course of my life. I came to Nihue Rao in 2022 (Nov-Dec) for a two week retreat that had changed my life. I was able to diet a plant called Oje that helps with undoing the traumas from addiction. The facilitators were very empathetic and showed genuine compassion for all of the attendees. The feeling of unconditional love and understanding was more than what I had imagined would be. The group of men that attended at the same time have become brothers.
My soul has been replenished from the treatment that I have recieved while at Nihue Rao. My heart has been opened more than ever before!! I see this work having strong value for people in recovery from their addictions when combined with a program and experienced guides like Sapha, Makena & Ricardo.”
Mark B will be supporting the Sacred Rebels project as a facilitator, recovery support staff & sponsor to participants during inpatient treatment stays & recovery retreats at Nihue Rao.