Preserving, Promoting, and Developing Indigenous Culture and Languages

Oct 18, 2022
Shining The Spotlight Issue11 WEBSITE CULTURE 03

Through our social development work, NWAC:

  • educates the people we represent on current-day inequities
  • engages in research that supports the well-being of Indigenous women, girls, transgender, and gender-diverse people
  • protects Indigenous knowledge and promotes the transfer of knowledge to new generations
  • offers a network of healing and connection as well as safe places for healing, to reduce violence against Indigenous women and children

NWAC’s social development team marked Truth and Reconciliation Day and Orange Shirt Day, on September 30, through a story-telling event and the sharing of factual recorded evidence of the crimes against Indigenous families and children. The event, held in the new Social, Cultural, and Economic Innovation Centre, was impactful.

Irene Goodwin, NWAC’s Director of Evidence to Action, oversaw an art exhibit that focused on the dark side of the residential school system—taking Indigenous children away from their parents. The harm caused by this system continues to impact Indigenous families and communities.

For the language project, the team has developed Indigenous language cards in Michif (language of the Métis), Inuktitut (language of the Inuit), and various languages spoked by members of the Algonquin people) for business, clients, and public. The cards are available at NWAC’s headquarters, the Social, Cultural, and Economic Innovation Centre. Many people are also signing up for our online live language sessions.

Over the fall months, we will continue to roll out videos and other resources, create displays, and promote the range of opportunities that are available on these Indigenous languages.

We are looking forward to conducting winter solstice activities and pipe ceremonies in November.


Staff member Brandi on Truth and Reconciliation Day


Staff member Kecia (to the right) and her sister on Truth and Reconciliation Day


Advancing the Healing Work of the Chelsea Resiliency Lodge

Now that summer is over and fall has arrived, the Chelsea Resiliency Lodge has served as a focal point for rekindling relationships within the community. In addition to a place for holding ceremonies, healing circles, and retreats, the lodge has provided a safe place to support community members and service workers in the Indigenous community in their healing journeys. Traditional Knowledge Keepers are a key component in the teachings, sweats, pipe ceremonies, and protection ceremonies that we can provide at the lodge.

NWAC has been in discussions with Lancôme, Sephora, and other corporate supporters on how they can help us provide virtual and in-person workshops designed to build confidence.

To this end, NWAC was honoured to have been invited to L’Oréal’s head office this fall to give a faceless doll workshop. Raising awareness and making connections in the corporate world is vital to NWAC’s ability to effect positive change.