Every June, we come together to acknowledge and participate in National Indigenous History Month learning and activities in honour of First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities and nations across Turtle Island. It is a time to uplift the brilliance and diversity of Indigenous knowledge systems, healing practices, languages, arts and literature that have been present and thriving on these lands since time immemorial. It is also a time to celebrate the outstanding achievements of many Indigenous trailblazers, activists, leaders and knowledge keepers whose dedication light the way forward.
As many know, Summer Solstice – the longest day of the year (this year falling on June 21) – coincides with National Indigenous People’s Day. While traditions vary from nation-to-nation, Summer Solstice is a time when many cultures celebrate the beginning of summer. For many First Nations communities, giving thanks for all of creation and Mino Baamodziwin (The Good life) along with Mishoom Giizis, (Granfather Sun) is honoured, celebrated, and feasted. MANY strawberries are to be had, ancestors honoured, Elders and youth doted on, listened to, and made to feel really special.
More Than Words began as a humble movement a few years ago and has continued to grow as an opportunity to stand in solidarity with Indigenous, Afro-Indigenous, Two-Spirit, and gender diverse community members, aligning with Pride Month.
As Indigenous community members continue to experience ongoing violence and, for far too many, death due to anti-Indigenous racism, meaningful learning and recognition of Indigenous History Month and People’s Day must include More Than Words. We encourage everyone to continue learning about the traditional lands we live on, read the reports and guides available on the CWP-IH hub (Truth and Reconciliation Report and its 94 calls to action, MMIWG2S Report recommendations and the Indigenous Health Primer and Health Values Statement).
This June, CWP-IH is offering different opportunities to engage with, learn about and support Indigenous communities with action items and ongoing in-person and virtual events.
Ways you can help address action items to advance truth and reconciliation:
- Visit the On Canada Action Guide
Download the Indigenous Ally Toolkit
- Write your MP asking:
Participate in the Indigenous Health and Wellness Community Discussions and Workshops at WCH:
Nadia McLaren and Elder-in-Residence Kawennanoron, Cindy White of the Centre for Wise Practices invite you to join us in ongoing, in-person conversations regarding Indigenous Health and Wellness, currently on the hearts and minds of WCH community members. These discussions are intended to help guide the goals, practices and learning of the WCH community, while providing a low-stakes and welcoming environment where the primary focus on community-building at WCH.
The in-person gatherings are held in the Labyrinth Room at WCH on the last Wednesday of the month between 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. The next sessions will be held on:
- June 28 – in-person in the Labyrinth
- July 26 – virtually over zoom
Participate in WCH’s Art Circle Sessions in collaboration with the CWP-IH
In collaboration with the Centre for Wise Practices in Indigenous Health, the Wellness Team invites staff to join our new monthly initiative to practice wellness through art! Participants will be shown basic art-making techniques and will be guided through the process of finishing their own works of art, offering WCH staff opportunities for self-expression, voice and reflection through artistry.
The sessions are in person in Room 1441, beside the information desk at Women’s College Hospital. Sessions have limited capacity of 15 participants and run from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Participants can drop in and stay as long as they wish during the two-hour session.
The next Art Circle Sessions will be held on:
- June 7
- June 14 (full)
- July 12 (full – waitlist request available)
- August 9
Build Awareness of our Indigenous Health Services
Cultural supports are available to support First Nations, Inuit and Métis patients and community members throughout their healthcare journey through the Centre for Wise Practices in Indigenous Health at Women’s College Hospital. This includes access to:
- The Elder-In-Residence and Traditional Healer
- Indigenous Peer Support and Relations Advocate, who can join appointments
- Smudging spaces and traditional medicines
Referrals can be made through Epic. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Women’s College Hospital’s Centre for Wise Practices in Indigenous Health (CWP-IH) offers numerous learning resources for members of the Indigenous community and beyond.
Supports and resources from the CWP-IH and collaborative relations:
- First Nations, Inuit & Métis Virtual Care Knowledge Translation Pathway
- Guidelines for Inclusivity, developed collaboratively by CWP-IH with the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto and the Resident Interest Group in Social Advocacy Internal Medicine Program
- Indigenous wellbeing in the times of COVID-19: Four directions virtual support hub
- History. Health. Healing. How the Centre for Wise Practices in Indigenous Health is creating pathways for system transformation