Wiijinokiiwag – Working Together

Wiijinokiiwag – Working Together

Empowering mainstream organizations to grow Indigenous cultural safety practices

Every day, our communities face new and evolving challenges caused by poverty and social exclusion. Despite the important work done by frontline charities across Simcoe Muskoka, there are gaps that overwhelm and challenge too many of our most vulnerable.

Community projects

To address that gap, United Way Simcoe Muskoka is funding six community collaborative projects across our region. By bringing together partners from all sectors – public, private, faith and charities – we know these projects will be able to not only meet the needs of our most vulnerable but provide a life of increased potential.


In this post we feature Working Together- Wiijinokiiwag, a trauma-informed and wholistic community mobilization initiative focused on creating conversations and community awareness that enhances life promotion and cultural safety education that saves lives and creates new collaborations of the future for all peoples to thrive. Grounded in Indigenous teachings, knowledge and concepts that have been learned through the team’s network of Knowledge Carriers, Storytellers and Elders, Working Together – Wiijinokiiwag is providing training to frontline service and mainstream organizations that provide supports and services to Indigenous Peoples and Communities.

The 1.5-day virtual program opens conversations of awareness and allows insight into creating bundles of care within organizations that support Indigenous Peoples in healthy ways of empowerment and support.

“The Medicine Wheel exercise was the exercise that resonated most deeply with me in highlighting the vulnerability felt. The exercises also allowed us to deeply examine our own biases and prejudgments therefore exposing our own vulnerabilities and increase empathy and understanding.”

~Wiijinokiiwag program participant

By offering this unique and important training and making service providers in Simcoe Muskoka more inclusive, you can help us save lives and create new collaborations of the future for all peoples to thrive.

Did you know

In Simcoe Muskoka, Indigenous peoples:

Wiijinokiiwag Stats
have a life expectancy 9 years less than non-Indigenous peoples
score 20% lower in overall community wellbeing

Thanks to the support of our donors, partners and sponsors, the project has been able to provide training to hundreds of frontline service providers to help them create safe and inclusive environments where all people can find the support they need.

The results

  • Almost 300 individuals have experienced the Wiijinokiiwag program and have been deeply impacted in a unique and wholistic way.
  • The Wiijinokiiwag – Working together team has expanded their programming through community circles, storytelling events and a speaker series.
  • The program is helping to change conversations around safety, inclusion and diversity within mainstream organizations.

“This program was extremely insightful. Its impact will stay with me for many years to come.”

~Wiijinokiiwag program participant

Learn more

To learn more about the program, please see the interview we conducted with Wiijinokiiwag Project Coordinator and Lead Facilitator, Heather McIntyre.

If you are interested in registering for the Wiijinokiiwag training, please visit Wiijinokiiwag – Mamaway Wiidokdaadwin.

Program Partners: CMHA (Project Lead), Waypoint Centre for Mental Health, Barrie Area Native Advisory Circle (BANAC), Gilbert Centre

RBC Foundation

Thanks in part to a RBC Foundation Grant of $50,000, the Working Together- Wiijinokiiwag program has been able to provide training to hundreds of frontline health organizations and mainstream organizational providers that provide supports and services to Indigenous Peoples and Communities. By offering this training and making service providers more inclusive, we are helping to save lives and providing a future for all peoples to thrive.

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