Òmar Bhochanan | Amber Buchanan is a passionate, fiery, and gentle soul who has been working toward her own healing and her Gàidhlig community’s healing from colonization for the past 15 years. She believes deeply that the reclamation of ones ancestral language and culture have the power to transform and connect us to ourselves, one another, our ancestors, the earth and the greater web of life. As a fluent Gaelic speaker Amber teaches the language and traditional cultural practices both in community and at Baile Nan Gàidheal | Highland Village Museum to curious learners of all ages.
Amber holds great hope in our ability to heal from past trauma, trusting that as we heal ourselves we heal the world. She is profoundly committed to her own healing, her daughter, her community, the earth, cultural and artistic expression, play, laughter, movement and dance.
It’s in facilitated group work that Amber really comes alive and shines. She has a remarkable ability to hold space for what’s present, to be with and coach people as they face some of their most difficult emotions while she remains open, compassionate and truthful. It is thanks to having had the privilege of attending, organizing and facilitating YES! Jams all over the world with amazing mentours that Amber has found these gifts within her. This includes eight Gaels Jams across Cape Breton. She is also a trained Dialogue for Peaceful Change facilitator.
Amber also works with pairs and on-on-one with individuals encouraging them to be curious, to feel, heal and transform into a felt sense of their most whole selves. She does this through conversation, body work and shamanic practices and rituals which she learned from her teacher and friend Nova Porier over the past five years.
Amber holds a 500 hour yoga certification from Rishikesh, India, where she spent four months with her daughter Sadie learning and engaging in the local and international community. That same year Amber learned how to weave on the backstrap loom from a local Indigenous woman in the mountains of a Mexican village in Oaxaca. She now weaves at home on a floor loom loving the metaphorical connections between weaving natural fabrics together and weaving community and life. She also knits, spins and felts wool and is learning about animal hide work.
Amber also holds a Political Science degree from Cape Breton University where she was able to combine her many passions focusing on social justice. She is also a fluent Spanish speaker and holds a special place in her heart for Latin American culture, people and landscapes. She has travelled extensively around the world and finds connection and fellowship wherever she goes. Amber is more recently building connections between Mi’kmaq and Gaels noticing our similarities and celebrating our uniqueness to forge peace, friendship and collective resilience.
Her roots reach through the Atlantic ocean all the way to the Isles of Lewis, Harris and North Uist and more recently to the North Shore of Cape Breton where her people settled seven generations ago. She is 37 years old and lives by the ocean in South Bar, Mi’kma’ki | Nova Scotia with her 13 year old daughter Sadie.