Sisters Strengthening Sisters was created to empower Indigenous women and girls in the Saskatoon area and help to build a community of strong, resilient Indigenous sisters. The Saskatoon Indian and Métis Friendship Centre created Sisters Strengthening Sisters with the intent to reduce the barriers typically faced by Indigenous women and girls wishing to access programming. The programming consists of a variety of workshops, activities, outings, and opportunities that help build confidence and a sense of self-identity within participants.
As a young girl, Charlotte loved to learn and made a commitment to herself to keep her language and culture alive while also attaining the highest level of education she could without losing her self-identity. Charlotte is an intergenerational survivor and currently pursuing her PhD in Indigenous Language Revitalization at the University of Alberta.
As an Indian Residential School Survivor, Reggie has always had the goal of relearning his traditional Cree way of life and reconnecting to the land his late father once survived on. The NIB Trust Fund helped Reggie return to his home territory and learn traditional land-based skills like hunting, fishing, and trapping.
In Nova Scotia, the Mi’kmaw Nation in the community of Paqtnkek were looking for a hub to share important news, community updates, and discussions for what needed to be shared for their members. The community is populated with less than 600 members including a few musicians, change-makers, and elders; and that’s how the Paqtnkek Community Radio Project was created.
Alejandra is an intergenerational survivor pursuing an Honours Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and Mental Health from Carleton University. After her first year in her program, she realized how important it was for her to give back to her people and start working in the Mental Health field, particularly with the Indigenous population.
With support from the NIB Trust Fund, Myia Antone, an intergenerational survivor, was able to attend the Squamish Language Immersion Program from the First Nations Languages Program at Simon Fraser University. Through this program, Myia had the opportunity to learn her traditional language, and explore how her ancestor's worldviews are embedded into the language and the current world around her. Myia sits on the Squamish Nation Youth Advisory Council and is confident that learning her language will help her better represent the Squamish youth and gain a better understanding of what it means to be a leader in her community.
Danita Lewis is an intergenerational survivor pursuing her Masters of Indigenous Language Revitalization at the University of Victoria. When moving away from her home community to pursue higher education, Danita had to make the tough decision to take unpaid leave from work and significantly decrease her income. With help from the NIB Trust Fund, Danita was able to relieve some of the financial stress and focus her time and energy on attaining her education goals. This program offered Danita the opportunity to revive Indigenous language, culture, traditions, and education for herself and share what she has learned with future generations. Danita has learned skills and tools that she will carry with her throughout her life.
Kira studies Social Sciences and Criminology at the University of Toronto and is an intergenerational survivor whose studies surround identifying the systemic flaws in the Canadian Justice System. Her education and background are what has made Kira become passionate about finding solutions to help end the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women crisis.
The Zhawenjigewag Inawemaaganag Family Healing Program aims to reconnect families through traditional cultural knowledge and peacemaking practices, foster personal development and holistic wellness through cultural knowledge and personal life skills, and contribute to community development. The program gives families who have experienced family violence the chance to reconnect and heal together through conflict resolution and traditional teachings.
The vision of the National Indigenous Residential School Museum of Canada is to be a place where people can learn, share, heal, and move forward. The goals of the Maamiikwendan program have been to create a safe space for Indian Residential School Survivors to share their stories and feel acknowledged and heard. Stories from Survivors were documented and shared in perpetuity.