WOMEN'S INITIATIVES

pc: Shawna Mcleod

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November 2014 | Somba K'e, Denendeh

The Gathering connected a diverse cross section of current and emerging Indigenous women leaders to explore themes including leadership, learning from our ancestors, arts and culture, decolonization and education.
From all accounts, the Gathering was a powerful success, achieving its objectives of linking almost 100 current and
emerging Indigenous female leaders from across the circumpolar Northwest Territories, Yukon, Nunavut, Nunavik, creating momentum for ongoing engagement, establishing a central social media network for continued connection, provoking dialogue around powerful themes and ideas, galvanizing Indigenous women in a context of solidarity, progress and meaningful change.

Gala Poster
Gala Poster
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Moosehide-Tickets.jpg
Tiffany
Tiffany

photo by Kayley Mackay

Women's Gathering
Women's Gathering

photo by Kayley Mackay

Women's Gathering
Women's Gathering

photo by Kayley Mackay

Women's Gathering
Women's Gathering

photo by Kayley Mackay

Women's Gathering
Women's Gathering

photo by Kayley Mackay

Women's Gathering
Women's Gathering

photo by Kayley Mackay

We are diverse Indigenous women representing various cultural regions in the Circumpolar North and we all bring our own gifts

We all share common experiences as Indigenous women

We share a responsibility for our cultures and its revitalization

We are holistic beings and balance life— women’s voices must be heard

We all enter this gathering at various points of our journey— some of us know our history and some of us do not but it is our sense of responsibility that unite and strengthen us

We are protectors of culture, serving as stewards for ancestral knowledge.

Our languages, protocols and practices are sacred and critical to the wellbeing of our children, families, and communities.

We have the power, authority and right to reshape our history and choose how we want to be treated

We put our children and grandchildren in the centre of the circle.

We nurture and support them on their journey to becoming proud Indigenous peoples

Reconciliation is an ongoing process and is everyone’s responsibility

Change occurs from commitment to our position and using our voice whenever the opportunities arise

Creating partnerships and networks across the territories is critical to moving forward. A social media strategy is critical to remain connected and united.

We work to change the system from the inside out

We show the utmost respect to our mother, the land, taking only what we need. In turn,

she takes care of us

The land is connected to our identity as Indigenous peoples— what we learn from the land protects us in mind, spirit and body

We learn and embody the lessons from the land and our creation stories (this comes from the story of the birds flying together as one)

We acknowledge and honour our two-legged teachers who are our Elders, our youth, our children and our babies

We seek out the wisdom and knowledge of our Elders in a respectful way.

We acknowledge that their teachings hold answers for our future

We share, teach, and support Indigenous women when they seek out their cultural knowledge. It is ours to share

We create safe spaces to talk openly, share our experiences, allow us to be who we are, and heal together. Voice adds strength and unbalances the status quo

We acknowledge and honour the role of men in our lives and the support, love and respect they show us as Indigenous women

We acknowledge and support our brother, sisters, and children who are in need. We show compassion, love, and work towards a solution

We listen to our instincts, our heart, and we lead from a position of strength

We seek out our individual gifts and learn how to use these gifts in the best possible way

We recognize that in order to follow through with our responsibilities as Indigenous women,

we must honour ourselves and wellbeing through self-care

Declaration of Indigenous Circumpolar Women’s Gathering

Who We Are

We, the Indigenous women representing the Circumpolar North have met in Yellowknife, Canada at the “Indigenous Circumpolar Women’s Gathering”, as sisters over 3 days, deliberating on the present situation and the future of our Indigenous women, as a result, we hereby declare the following as one voice:

Protectors

Our Teachers

Creating Change

Supporting Each Other

Taking Care of Self

What We Stand For

RECOGNITION OF BEING:
A WOMAN'S SACRED JOURNEY
AUGUST 2018

Kakisa, Denendeh

19 Women and girls from across the north united for a five day on the land gathering near Kakisa, Denendeh. This was Dene Nahjo's second Recognition of Being gathering for women and girls of all ages to come together and share Indigenous knowledge and teachings. Our workshop leads and Elders Ethel Lamothe and Rebecca Martell held daily sessions in a canvas tent heated by wood stove and lined with spruce boughs. Our camp was set up next to Kakisa river, and we hosted all of our activities outside or in tents. Participants were invited to camp in cabins or tents. 

RECOGNITION OF BEING:
A WOMAN'S SACRED JOURNEY
AUGUST 2017

Somba K'e, Denendeh

Grounded in reconnection, relationships and respect, Dene Nahjo’s Recognition of Being: Rites of Passage Indigenous Women’s Gathering facilitated the sharing of teachings between indigenous women surrounding traditional values and skills, rites of passage, spirituality and leadership. This was a 4 day gathering from August 28th-31st, 2017 at the Prince of Whales Heritage Centre in Somba K’e (Yellowknife). The 28 participants ranged from ages 12 to 65+.
Traditional Dene woman knowledge that was stripped away as an intentional consequence of colonialism was restored and passed down from the workshop leads Rebecca Martell and Ethel Lamothe. A strong support network was built among mothers, daughters, aunties and elders from communities across Denendeh.

Ethel
Ethel

photo by Shawna Mcleod

Beading
Beading

photo by Shawna Mcleod

Stephanie Poole
Stephanie Poole

photo by Shawna Mcleod

Rites of Passage
Rites of Passage

photo by Shawna Mcleod

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