Indigenous man with rectal cancer

At the time of this video Alan was a band councillor for St. Mary’s First Nation in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Alan was diagnosed with cancer at age 41. In this video from the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC), Alan speaks about the shock of receiving his diagnosis. He and his partner, Tyler, also talk about the importance of community support and Indigenous ways of healing:

You know I appreciate the medicines. I’m so happy that I live in the 21st century. And I did the western medicine, the chemo, the radiation, the technology that they have today. I give thanks for all that and those external things that I did helped me spiritually, of course, because it’s all about mind, body and soul. And if you connect those three, you connect the mind with the body and the soul with the spirit, then it can combine and it all works very well together and you need it at times because let me tell you towards the end it wasn’t fun, and I connect those three really hard together. But I did it.

Alan Patrick Polchies and his partner Tyler Nason