6th Annual CAM™ & Red Sands Event

Coming Together for Community Grieving & Healing

Dates Leading Up to Our Event

Join us anyway you can! We are here to call-in our survivors, helpers, healers, and community protectors to make this time for you to fill your heart, mind, body, and spirit with good energy. 

website materials-08.png

Kendra Scott Jewelry Fundraiser

Jewelry maker Kendra Scott will donate 20% of sales on any Kendra Scott items purchased with the code GIVEBACK-CVCDQ to Milwaukee-based nonprofit HIR Wellness on November 5 & 6 2022. Additionally, the company invited the HIR Wellness team to create a signature line of custom jewelry that was inspired by the resilience and healing power of the survivors that HIR Wellness serves. To learn more about our jewelry designs and how to order them please visit our Kendra Scott page here.

Time: November 5 + 6, 2022

Location: In-person or online at Kendra Scott

website materials-05.png

City Wide Red Sands Pouring

Join us in the pouring red sands as part of our 6th Annual CAM™ and Red Sands event. To mark the occasion we ask you to join us in raising awareness, visibility, and social justice around the chronic and systemic impact of MMIWR. 

To participate:

  1. Please reach out to us to arrange a pick up or drop off of a Red Sands packet.

  2. Once you receive a the red sand packet record yourself (or take a photo) silently pouring the red sand into cracked concrete to symbolize your commitment to raising awareness and not letting Indigenous people fall through the cracks in our systems. 

  3. After you’ve finished, please send video or photos to Jamie Kellicut at JKellicut@HIRWellness.org to be used in a virtual art installation. 

Learn more about the Red Sands Project here.

Time: From now until November 12, 2022

Location: Where you choose to make the commitment. 

website materials-06.png

6th Annual CAM™ and Red Sands Event

As a survivor and women-led matriarchal organization we hold space for our communities to gather. We hope you will join us to gather for grieving, honoring, remembering, and healing as a community. 

We will have Indigenous speakers, a talking circle, vigil walk with a memorial area of our sisters and relatives who have been taken too soon. There will be a fire going, songs, ceremony, and prayer. We will have our Mental Health Without Borders™ CAMPsite™ team onsite to provide immediate grief and emotional support.

Together we grieve, honor, and heal for our ancestors, people, and our future generations.

Join us in-person or virtual on Facebook LIVE @HIRWellnessInstitute

Time: 1:00 - 4:00 PM CST

Location: Virtual or University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Fire Circle in front of Merrill Hall, 2512 E. Hartford Ave., Milwaukee WI 53211

In partnership with

Countdown to our 2022 6th Annual Event

website materials-04.png

MANA NOW Fundraiser

Maile's Achievement Nourishing Ambition (MANA) Network of Women (NOW)

Join us for a night of sisterhood and wellness as we raise money for our HIR Wellness Institute’s 2022 MANA NOW Award. Learn more here 

Time: 5:00 - 8:00 PM CST

Location: Virtual or Bloom Spa, 719A S 5th St. Milwaukee, WI

In partnership with Bloom Spa


Calling In our Relatives to Heal

At our CAM™ and Red Sands event we focus on addressing the vicarious trauma, secondary trauma, toxic stress, and moral injury that occurs when personal healing intersects community loss and grieving. We are calling you into our Circle of Care™ - it's your time to be supported in community care. We hold this event to be with our relatives, community helpers, and community healers as they stand on the frontlines of MMIWR activism, advocacy, and outreach. If you are not doing well the energy and intention that you bring to your spaces will drain you vs. feed you. This can leave you fatigued, anxious, and unrested. At these events we want to help your wellness so you can be hopeful, inspiring, and innovating for long-lasting change.

We will have Indigenous speakers, a talking circle, vigil walk with a memorial area of our sisters and relatives who have been taken too soon. There will be a fire going, songs, ceremony, and prayer. We will have our Mental Health Without Borders™ CAMPsite™ team onsite to provide immediate grief and emotional support. 

We are a survivor and women-led matriarchal organization. We hold space for our communities to gather to grieve, honor, remember, and heal as a community. Creating safe spaces doesn't mean discomfort, dis-ease, or disagreements won't happen. It means learning to work through these feelings with others as we build trust, vulnerability, and reciprocity.  Join us and explore ways to heal your inner world. Together we grieve, honor, and heal for our ancestors, people, and our future generations.

"Safety is not the absence of threat, it is the presence of connection"


- Gabor Mate


HIR Story: A Call to Action 

Our first CAM™ & Red Sands Missing and Murdered Indigenous Woman and Relatives (MMIWR) event was in 2017 and envisioned by HIR Wellness Founder & CEO Lea S. Denny. Denny recognized the complex loss and grief. She recognized the impacts of MMIWR, suicide, homicide, overdose and their connection to historical trauma. She felt that to heal, not only do we need awareness and advocacy for the victims, we also need a way for our communities to grieve and heal. From this she developed and coined the term Community Activated Medicine™ (CAM™). The heart-work of CAM™ is "Inform to activate healing" and "the people are the medicine".

The CAM™ & Red Sands event was a call-to-action around the epidemic of MMIWR. This event was for collective grieving and community healing. It was Denny's belief that when we come together we can address the individuals’ and the community's mental health. The Red Sands Project is an international creative activism earthwork. The project was created to raise awareness, vulnerability, and social justice action around human trafficking. Bridging the concepts of CAM™ & Red Sands Project together created a space for healing the land and the unseen. Today the CAM™ & Red Sands event has grown into an annual event with large gatherings. Every year our relatives intergenerationally come together to practice CAM™ our social justice healing-informed practices.


"In shifting our language to being trauma informed and healing informed, grounded in my research around Indigenous historical and intergenerational trauma, understanding Persistent Toxic Systems and Environments™ (PTSE™), it was evident that we must change our mental health language to decolonize mental health.


"Clients = Consumer = Commodity

"Relatives = Connection = Community


"If connection is currency, then relationships are priceless."


- Lea S. Denny 

Check out images from our previous healing CAM™ events below!

Survivor Stones
Pouring of the Red Sands
Medicine Wheel Dress
Indigenous Drum
Stones for Survivors
MMIWR Ribbon Skirt
Indigenous Drum
Community Fire
Therapy Horse
Pouring of the Red Sands
Heart shaped embers
"I pledge" wall. a commitment to MMIWR
Paper Moccasins
MMIWR Social Justice Walk
Red Sands Pouring
Stones for Survivors
3rd CAM™ and Red Sands Event
MMIWR Social Justice Walk
Red Sands Pouring
MMIWR Red Ribbon Skirt
MANA NOW Award Ceremony
MANA NOW Award Ceremony
Red Sands Pouring Talking Circle

Addressing MMIWR Through Mental Health & Social Justice 

We have had the commitment to raise awareness and serve MMIWR victims, survivors, their families, and communities. We do this through mental health services, advocacy, outreach, trainings, CAM™ events, and policy change. The root causes of the MMIWR epidemic connects to the colonization of Indigenous communities. We recognize these roots in the...

  • Patriarchy of our systems

  • Commodification of our lands and bodies

  • The historical trauma that ensued from residential boarding schools

  • Damaging policies and broken treaties 

  • Displacement, relocation, urbanization

  • Sterilization of Native women

  • Loss of culture, language, and traditions

The losses have carried forward creating intergenerational and transgenerational trauma and adversity. The impact of historical trauma and unresolved grief can manifest in a multitude of ways. Decolonizing mental health means going beyond the label of individual diagnoses. We seek to address more systemic and intergenerational experiences of Persistent Toxic Systems and Environments™ (PTSE™) as coined by Lea S. Denny. 

“Trauma in a person, decontextualized over time, looks like personality.

Trauma in a family, decontextualized over time, looks like family traits.
Trauma in a
people, decontextualized over time, looks like culture."

—Resmaa Menakem

There is hope, healing, and tremendous strength in our Indigenous communities. Kinship, gatherings, and community is the backbone to our wellness. Positive, compassionate, relational, and predictable experiences can alter the impact that trauma has on us. At HIR Wellness Institute this includes our Intergenerational Healing Approach™ and CAM Framework™ developed by Lea S. Denny. Through our Intergenerational Healing Approach™ and CAM Framework™ we provide immediate crisis care and stabilization, intensive trauma-treatment, grief healing circles, and search and rescue efforts as identified by our missing relatives’ families. The work is individualized with careful consideration for the needs of our relatives. We create a Circle of Care™ for them through our Intergenerational Healing Approach™. Mental health is an essential need for the victims we serve. Most of our relatives who are MMIWR have had a lifetime of hurt that has impacted their self-worth, identity, coping, and choices. This is often a result of complex and developmental trauma that can manifest in different ways. At HIR Wellness Institute we create spaces to heal through our therapeutic web of services and community care. 


We also work to address systems and their impacts. Our leadership team serves on the Wisconsin MMIW State Task Force. 

  • CEO & Clinical Director Lea S. Denny who is on the "Research & Data" subcommittee

  • Community Engagement & Indigenous Affairs Director Jamie Kellicut who is on the "Systems" Subcommittee

  • HIR Wellness Institute Board Treasure Skye Alloway who is the Co-Chair for the Task Force. ​

​As part of our work we are on the Tracking Our Truth Project with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. We work along with community partners across the state who serve Indigenous/Native victims of sexual assault, intimate partner violence, sex trafficking, and MMIWR. In this project we provide culturally-specific legal advocacy with our National Tribal Trial College certified Lead Native Legal Advocate. We also provide:

  • Financial advocacy

  • Emotional support

  • CARES Victims Warmline (414-748-2592)

  • Crisis stabilization

  • Therapy

  • Occupational Therapy

  • Care services (court accompaniment, filing restraining orders, Safe At Home, coordination of resources, securing housing, providing emergency funds, and relocation)

  • HIR Wellness Institute is also part of the "We Are Here MKE" initiative to raise awareness on cultural specific programs serving victims of violence.