The DUDES Club is travelling to Fort St. John BC and will present during a knowledge exchange at Treaty 8 offices on March 6th.

Having initially stood for Downtown Urban Knights Defending Equity and Sovereignty, the DUDES Club was established in 2010 in Vancouver.

These knowledge exchange sessions explore the availability of men’s wellness supports within the community. 

Presenters will discuss a wide range of topics, including what role community leaders, elders, knowledge holders, and health practitioners play in developing a local chapter dedicated to men’s health.

The DUDES Club promotes a holistic approach to overall men’s vigour at a grassroots level.

According to its website, DUDES Club now boasts 42 chapters province-wide. In addition, there are two nationally recognized clubs in Canada.

DUDES Club community liaison Kyle Sam says one of the biggest reasons the club has succeeded is its ability to prompt community building by simple word of mouth.

“We only go into communities where we’re invited. We have developed a model of what men’s health should look like,” said Sam. 

“When we do the knowledge exchange, if the men in that community want to use our name, that’s fine.  If they want to create their own name, that’s okay too. We’re an Indigenous organization. We’re not about making a name for ourselves.”

Sam says one of the biggest problems Indigenous men experience is an inability to “swallow their pride” when it comes to their overall well-being.

“Physical health is a major issue with men in our community,” said Sam. “There’s a sense of shame and a sense of not being supported is a big thing.”

 “Intergenerational trauma and a sense of guilt is a major thing in not going to see a doctor.”

The event takes place at the Treaty 8 headquarters at 10233 100th Avenue in Fort St. John from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with meals provided.  

The event will feature presentations by the DUDES Club in the morning and afternoon and close out with a game of poker.

More information about the DUDES Club can be found there.

By Edward Hitchins, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Feb 26, 2024 at 12:55

This item reprinted with permission from   Fort St. John, British Columbia

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