Regional Life Promotion Initiatives
The Gathering Our Bundles: Regional Feather Carriers Life Promotion Initiatives has been developed in response to the Indigenous Community Engagement process that took place within the York, Simcoe, and Muskoka Regions in late 2020. Programming has been developed in response to the expression of need for culturally relevant mental health supports for Indigenous Peoples throughout the region. All initiatives are grounded in Indigenous teachings and concepts that have been learned through the team’s network of Elders, Knowledge Carriers and Storytellers. All programs have been built upon the values of the Feather Carriers Leadership for Life Promotion Foundational Training.
Programs and initiatives include: Indigenous knowledge sharing sessions involving stories, medicines and practices, land-based events and activities, Indigenous craft workshops, and a healing and wellness program. All programs are designed to foster community connection and wellness while exploring personal identity, strengths, and mindfulness. Facilitators of programs, workshops, and knowledge sharing circles strive to remain inclusive of all cultural understandings as it is recognized that the Indigenous Peoples within the regions served are diverse and full of rich cultural understandings from their own families, communities and regions.
Indigenous Knowledge Sharing Workshops and Programs
Due to the ongoing effects of colonization and intergenerational trauma, the Gathering Our Bundles: Life Promotion Initiatives team recognizes the need for culturally relevant programming that provides a safe space for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants to learn the teachings, practices and protocols surrounding the diverse Indigenous Populations of the regions they serve. In response to this need multiple workshops and programs will be delivered throughout the year:
Workshops and Programs include:
- Indigenous knowledge sharing sessions that introduce topics such as Indigenous story telling, Indigenous ceremonial protocols and practices, and understanding the use of Indigenous medicines. These workshops are designed to be safe interactive spaces for participants to ask questions and share their own knowledge.
- Indigenous craft workshops introduce different crafts and projects that allow participants to add to their personal ceremonial bundles. These may include feather cases, drum bags, regalia for dancing, blankets, beading, etc.
Community Land Based Events
In a continuation of fostering community connections, the Gathering our Bundles: Life Promotion Initiatives team will partner with programs within Mamaway Wiidookdaadwin and other organizations that serve the local Indigenous populations to implement a quarterly 1 day on the land gathering. These events will have multiple activities for participants to join that are relevant to cultural teachings, knowledge building, practices, and history. Examples of activities include: Sunrise and Full moon ceremony, fire keeping teachings, nutritional offerings and presentations relevant to Indigenous People, games such as Lacrosse and Googoosh (Pig) Ball, medicine walks, mindfulness walks and exercises, archery, and scavenger hunts that promote learning about Indigenous Peoples history and/or culture.
Youth Inspiring Youth - Messages of Hope
A Holistic Wellness Journey: Healing and Wellness Program
This healing and wellness program was designed in response to the community desire for more culturally relevant mental health supports and programs to be accessible within the region. Grounded in the foundational concepts of the Feather Carriers Leadership for Life Promotion Training Program, this program continues to include the shift from suicide prevention to life promotion, building cultural identity, and specific Indigenous teachings that pertain to the populations of Indigenous People that reside within the regions served. The program evolution moves from a training initiative for those seeking to promote life within their work and communities to an individual healing focus that assists participants in the development of tools that promote their personal life.
The program has three parts to allow participants to feel a sense of accomplishment in the event they only complete parts of the program. Part 1 of the program explores building a connection with personal identity through Indigenous concepts and building a base for cultural understandings and ways of doing. Part 2 of the program assists participants in addressing negative behavioural and cognitive patterns while developing the tools to make positive long-lasting change within their lives. Part 3 of the program uses motivational techniques to encourage participants to foster community connection and healthy relationships within their communities.
The program design implements the following tools and knowledge:
- Healing and wellness concepts grounded in Indigenous teachings.
- Finding fulfillment and resiliency in personal identity.
- Motivational tools for personal growth and achieving personal wellness.
- Skills and techniques that assist participants in daily challenges on their personal journeys to healing and wellness.
- Trauma informed approaches to create a safe and supportive space.
- Mindfully building strong and healthy communities.
Meet the Team
Life Promotion Initaitives
Life Promotion Initiatives Facilitation and Training Coordinator