(the act of consoling and / or healing with words - nēhiyawēwin / plains cree)
The Kakichihiwewin Project aims to create strong bonds in Indigenous communities by continuing the healing process of those affected by the residential school system, boarding schools, the sixties scoop, foster care, and forced removal / assimilation.
We also know that many Indigenous peoples come from a legacy of shame – our parents and grandparents hiding their identity out of self preservation, and thusly we end up isolated from our nations, people and birthrights to culture.
Kakichihiwewin isn’t a place to find culture, but to find your story – a stepping stone on your journey to healing. There are so many walls and barriers that we come up against, so creating those bonds with people who will support you, listen and encourage you to keep going is paramount to heal not only yourself, but generations back and forward.
The reality is that the ongoing traumas we face often make us feel like we’re walking alone, but we aren’t.
Through stories, community efforts and retrospect into how we’ve been shaped by a system set to dismantle us, we can ensure our thrival as peoples – by using our words and experiences to heal.
Above all else, Kakichihiwewin is a grassroots effort with the goal to build Indigenous peoples back up and create safe community spaces for connection and consolation.
Make a donation to the Kakichihiwewin project by visiting our page on Global Giving.
WHAT WE'RE DOING
You are not alone on your path.
Mamawapowuk means “gathering” in Michif.
The first step to healing is not feeling alone, and with the ongoing impact felt by COVID-19 and isolation the Kakichihiwewin Project is offering “Mamawapowuk”, a 12 week online community building group.
Each week we will hear from a guest speaker, participate in activities together and create bonds to help facilitate the healing process for those of us affected by forced assimilation, generational / intergenerational and the present day trauma we carry as Indigenous peoples.
This space will not be run by a professional therapist, but rather a therapeutic setting for Indigenous folks who are in need of a sense of belonging and inclusion on their path to healing.
10 spots are be available, on a first come, first serve basis and this program will be offered three times a year.
There is no charge to attend or join the group, although you are only asked to do your best to commit to the entire 12 gatherings to help preserve the integrity and trust built over our time together.
Registration is now open for our January 6th – March 24th sessions that take place every Thursday from 4pm PT / 6pm CT / 7pm ET and last 90 minutes.
The Lester Howse Fund is a sub-project of Kakichihiwewin.
About: Many Indigenous elders who were victims of the forced assimilation efforts put forth by the church and state via residential and boarding school systems are in need of housing and stability in their later years.
The Lester Howse Fund has been established to help elders who facefinancial hinderances with home repairs and housing.
Over the next two years we are hoping to give out four (4) re-grants of $25,000 to those needing aid.
We call this “Oskapewis” (Elder’s Helper).
Meet Lester Howse, Cree elder who was the inspiration for this fund:
Lester Howse is Nehiyaw (Plains Cree) and was born in 1944 in a small town near Buck Lake, Alberta.
His family raised him with love and care and taught him to live in Relation with the land.
When he was seven years old he was taken by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to a Residential School where he witnessed and experienced years of violence and abuse.
As a Residential School survivor, Lester believes what he and many others experienced is a crime against humanity. He shares his lived experiences so that others like him know they are not alone, and to further awareness and understanding in hopes of fostering compassion and solidarity for Indigenous Peoples.
Lester has spent much of his adult life on the frontlines fighting for justice for Indigenous people and their inherent rights. He lives his life today in relation to the land the way he was taught for many years before Residential School.
The Kakichihiwewin Project Zines contain detailed accounts of multiple forms of abuse and trauma within their pages.
As we acknowledge that our kin are all in various stages of their healing journeys, some of the things shared and described will be agitating.
For our non-Indigenous kin – this is not trauma porn, this is a cold reality every Indigenous person you know has been affected by – these words however, only scratch the surface.
After reading, please consider donating to The Kakichihiwewin Project, to support its efforts to bring community healing to those affected by these not only historical, but ongoing / present day atrocities and traumas.
These kits were created to remind folks that they are loved, valid, thought of and needed.
Each kit includes traditional medicines, tea, pânsâwân, self care items and more – all wrapped up in a handmade bag along with a letter written by a community member. No two kits are exactly the same.
You can sponsor a care kit by visiting us at GlobalGiving
You can also volunteer to write letters to for the care kits by mailing the director (email provided below).
*Kits will be sent out the first week of every month and are curated by the project director.
kakichihiwewin’s care kits are proud to partner with:
Mother Earth Essentials & Pânsâwân.
To partner / write letters / donate items to the kakichihiwewin project community care kits please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sometimes our paths aren’t clear.
kakichihiwewin is proud to offer the stepping stone healing fund. This fund is two monthly, one time, $250 bursaries to Indigenous folks needing assistance in their reconnecting journeys.
This bursary is offered for those looking to travel to their homelands, access paid family records, language classes, and other related efforts that will help them on their healing journey.
kakichihiwewin is hoping to launch this effort in the winter of 2021.
If you’re interested in sponsoring a recipient of this fund, please reach out to kakichihiwewin project director S.A. Lawrence-Welch via email@example.com
pekiwewin means “the act of coming home or arriving” in nêhiyawêwin.
For many of us, “coming home” isn’t always an accessible act – but when we can find the feeling of home in community members who are on similar paths as us – it can truly feel like we are finding our way there.
These 90 minute Indigenous community talking circles will feature a variety of guests discussing the topic of identity and the issues that we face as Indigenous peoples. This is a safe place where lateral violence will not be tolerated, but rather where community members can ask questions without worry of social repercussions.
The sessions will not be recorded, and you are not required to turn on your camera. Your information will not be stored or shared.
Registration numbers are limited to ensure dialogue, and thoughtful responses / solutions are given.
*25 spots are available for each session.
Past Guests Include:
Dr. Tomasina Chupco
Leah & Olivia Horzempa
Community is the best way to heal trauma.
the kakichihiwewin project will be hosting annual healing symposiums focused on sharing tools and skills that can be taken back to our respective communities to ensure the success and thrival of Indigenous peoples nationally and globally.
We are working to ensure our first gathering that will take place in 2022 will be both safe and accessible.
Our stories are our truths.
To understand where we are today, we must understand where we came from.
Join us as we hear stories from elders, the lost generation, and youth.
Hosted by kakichihiwewin project directed S.A. Lawrence-Welch, Storytelling highlights those affected by forced assimilation tactics and speaks to the resiliency and beauty of community building as a form of healing medicine. We will hear from folks that are putting in the work to ensure Indigenous peoples can hold onto their culture, identity and each other.
001 – November 2nd – Ivana Yellowback
002 – October 20th – Christine Diindiisi McCleave
003 – November 24th – Truth & Healing Commission Interview with Congresswoman Deb Haaland
004 – December 16th, 2020 – Jimmy Lee Beason II
With the escalation of trauma First Nations, Métis, & Inuit folks have been experiencing regarding residential schools in so-called Canada, the kakichihiwewin project has partnered with Healing in Colour to offer a four week community healing project directed towards empowering First Nations, Métis, & Inuit people to be able to process their grief in a safe environment with tangible tools to move forward with.
These four, two hour sessions will be led by Healing in Colour co-founder Yasmin and kakichihiwewin project director S.A..
At this time we are only able to offer this program to First Nations, Metis and Inuit residents of so-called Canada. Non-registered First Nations, Métis, & Inuit are welcome to join as we know and understand that assimilation took many forms.
Space is limited to 10 participants and are available on a first registered, first served basis.
We encourage you to check back in winter for our next offering.
WATCH OUR SPECIAL LIVE EVENTADDRESSING ASSIMILATION & ERASURE
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