By Rebecca Eras
Posted April 19, 2007
The youngest of 15 children, Don Burnstick has said his impoverished upbringing on a First Nations reserve and his struggle with drugs and alcohol led to his comedic career. At the age of 21, he woke up to his potential and decided to share his story in hopes of healing others.
Burnstick visited the Faculty of Medicine last week to deliver a message about the power of humour to an audience of 100 in the Libin Lecture Theatre. Calling on teachings from aboriginal elders, Burnstick tackled issues such as sex, AIDS and drugs, the SAD syndrome as he calls it, offering hope to his people through awareness and healthy living. “We’re not born to drink, take drugs or be violent,” he said. “The essence of the environment—the Earth--demonstrates that we’re born to give and not take.”
Ultimately, Burnstick said Aboriginal Peoples believe in living holistically around the wheel of life; love, action, balance and wisdom. To become happy, he said one must:
“As a humourist, a wellness worker and a healer, Burnstick has helped countless people through laughter and there’s no telling how many lives he’s changed and will continue to change for the better,” said Dr. Lindsay Crowshoe, assistant professor, Family Medicine.
About the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary
The U of C's Faculty of Medicine is a national leader in health research with an international reputation for excellence and innovation in health care research, education and delivery. Through its educational programs, the Faculty of Medicine trains the physicians and scientists who will lead the next generation of health practitioners. Through its clinical work, continuing medical education programs, and close relationship with the Calgary Health Region, the Faculty of Medicine moves new treatments and diagnostic techniques from the laboratory bench to the hospital bedside efficiently and effectively, improving patient care.
For more information visit www.donburnstick.com