Naandwidizwin – Wechihitita means Healing Ourselves – Helping Each Other in Ojibwe.

Attendees Clients in 2018-2019
Residential school survivors and their families (intergenerational) TBD

The Naandwedizwin-We-chi-hi-tita “Healing Ourselves – Helping Each Other” project facilitates the immediate, ongoing and long-term healing process for Residential School Survivors and their families residing in Toronto. This process has involved the reclaiming of Aboriginal identity, healing of past traumas, reconciliation with the Church, and acquiring life-skills to build a healthier future for themselves and their families.

Programs and services
Due to the infliction and trauma experienced by many former students of the Indian Residential School System our programming focuses on restoration by offering:

  • Opportunities to fulfill childhood wants and dreams
  • One-on-one counselling by Elders, resource persons or health support workers
  • Healing circles
  • Community workshops (e.g. grief and loss, parent, cultural awareness)
  • Language teachings
  • Cultural exchanges

Council Fire remains committed to the development of program mentors, peer support and ambassadors. They are positive role models, traditional helpers, cultural craft designers and teachers, storytellers, medicine caretakers, language teachers, mental wellness supports and public speakers.

Motivational Mondays: Explore the city on local outings to engage in physical activity. Previous events included walking the boardwalk at Cherry Beach, going to see the cherry blossoms at High Park, nature walks through various parks and areas of Toronto.

Healing Circles: On Tuesdays, the Peer Support team provides a lunch followed by a private co-ed healing circle for Indian Residential School Survivors & intergenerational survivors. Traditional healing circles and eagle feather protocols are followed and shared with newcomers.

Traditional Arts and Craft Circle: The craft circle is held on Wednesday and Thursday and consists of projects the clients can work on a continual basis. We have beading and dream catcher supplies, moccasin making kits, leather and craft supplies that have been donated for clients to share. There are sewing machines available for clients to make traditional skirts, pouches and shawls. All participants are encouraged to make an item for fundraising in exchange for use of supplies.

Tea Time: The craft circle has an added component on Thursday afternoons. Tea time begins with the protocol of smudge and the eagle feather going around while others continue crafting. This group consists mostly of women and has given ladies an opportunity to talk amongst other survivor peers.

Patricia Schulyer
416-360-4350 ext. 261

Funded by:
– Indigenous Services Canada

Organizations in Southern Ontario and Affected community members of all ages.

The objective of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, Trans and Two Spirit (MMIWGT2S) Project is to offer support to organizations as well as to local Indigenous residents.

Organizational Support: This project seeks collaboration with Indigenous agencies, groups and organizations in Southern Ontario, to identify needs and help facilitate access to cultural and mental health supports as well as clinical services.

Support to Local Families and Individuals: This project offers support to Toronto-based community members who are affected by MMIWGT2S, to access needed services.

Programs and Services

For the 2019/2020 year, two large MMIWGT2S Gatherings will be held with approximately 20 or more organizations and groups to:
– Share their experiences and accomplishments
– Obtain resources such as toolkits and funding information
– Explore opportunities to collaborate with organizations and groups in their area
– Provide participants with cultural knowledge and supports from elders and healers

Education and Awareness: Awareness of this issue will be increased through information sharing and/or attendance at public events such as:
– IRSS Legacy event held in July 2019
– Council Fire Youth Pow Wow held in August 2019
– Ryerson University Pow Wow held in September 2019
– Native Women’s Womens’ Resource Centre Vigil held on Oct 4, 2019

Placement Student: A student from Ryerson University Social Work Program offers support in the way of research (e.g. collecting information about MMIWGT2S stories, innovative and successful program examples), providing information at pubic events such as pow wows, and is increasing her knowledge through participation in vigils, workshops and gatherings.

Patricia Chrisjohn-Canzian
MMIWGT2S Family Wellness Team Lead
647-394-6644 OR
416-360-4350 ext

Laurie Okimawinew
Cultural Resource Coordinator
416-360-4350 ext 243

Funded by
Indigenous Services Canada