Who does Wiijinokiiwag help?
Indigenous peoples and those of Indigenous descent
Developed in response to the Indigenous Community Engagement process that took place within the York, Simcoe, and Muskoka Regions in late 2020, Wiijinokiiwag (Weeji-noh-key-wug) is ensuring that culturally relevant mental health supports are there for local Indigenous peoples.
Indigenous peoples in Simcoe Muskoka and across the country are disproportionately affected by critical local issues like mental health challenges, social isolation, poverty, racism and suicide. Due to a history of colonial practices and racism, many Indigenous peoples today are disconnected from their communities and their own lives. Furthermore, organizations, companies and services in our communities are largely unequipped to assist our Indigenous peoples and communities with their unique needs.
Based on the concepts of the eight-week Gathering Our Bundles: Life Promotion Initiatives Core Program that reinforces the shift from suicide prevention to life promotion, building cultural identity, and specific Indigenous teachings, Wiijinokiiwag embodies a philosophy of promoting life and draws upon Indigenous concepts of leadership for protection and promotion of community health and well-being. The program will reconnect community members to each other, their culture, their community and ultimately to life, all while grounded in Indigenous teachings and concepts that have been learned through the team’s network of Elders, Knowledge Carriers and Storytellers.
Wiijinokiiwag is being piloted with all CMHA Simcoe staff with plans to expand to other frontline service providers as the program grows.
Sub-Region: Orillia & Area
Local Issues Addressed:
Access to Healthcare
Healing and Wellness
Partners: CMHA (Project Lead), Waypoint Centre for Mental Health, Barrie Area Native Advisory Circle (BANAC), Glibert Centre