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Impact Stories


“I was fortunate to grow up with my grandparents and a circle of Elders who prayed for the continuation of our culture—for the young people to learn those ways and to represent it proudly, to join in circle and to smudge together and this is what we’re doing here. This is the prayer of our ancestors.”

Continuation of our Culture Calgary
“I love the services offered through Miskanawah and the resources – the amount of programs. Our ways are truly embraced here and if we can sit in circle together more frequently – to sit and speak openly with each other – I think this has such a healing impact for our community.”

Sisters in Circle (Nitsanak Mamawintowak) Calgary
"Truly, I was overwhelmed with the feeling of being "home" when I walked into the ceremony room and gazed about at the community moments that were taking place. In awe of the connectivity that I felt to complete "strangers" but - all my relations - none the less. It was indeed a paradoxical moment in my life, one that I have not experienced before. This moment I shall tuck deep into my heart for future moments of loneliness, to be reminded that I 'belong" somewhere. Into my soul to bring forth healing of my spirit from generations of my ancestors that I have never met or even known/learned about, but I know they watch over me. Then into my mind, to recall when I have the opportunities to share with those that I come across on my journey, sharing with them the community that is contained within Miskanawah."

I belong somewhere
“For me, Miskanawah has always been a place where I felt like I belonged, and where I was valued for who I was. I have been placed with two lovely caregivers through Miskanawah, and have always felt at home with them. It's had a very significant, positive effect on the outcome of my life I think.”

Felt Like I Belong
“I am Métis but I was raised outside of the community. My father didn't tell me that I was Métis until I was about 22 years old (about 2006). After that, I began the long journey of reconnecting. A year ago, I was able to learn from my father's older cousin, that both my great grandfather and great grandmother had been fluent Cree speakers, and that my Grandma too had been a Cree speaker, before attending the convent school in Morinville.
I am very excited and grateful to be learning the language of my ancestors. The day I picked up my textbook, I was so overwhelmed with emotion that I began to cry. To me this is the ultimate act of resistance. The government tried to erase the language of my ancestors, but they failed. I have studied several languages and I am fluently bilingual English/French. I am so excited to apply my skills to Cree.”

Sarah (Cree Language Class)
"I really enjoyed being able to explore different sides of my mind and self. Program allowed me to re-think situations in a different light, which I really needed. To say the least, exposure to different stories helps align my judgment and how I move in the world."

Mind & Self (Sister in Circle)
“I draw my success and wellness from this circle. This circle has made me a better person. I’ve come a long way because of the women here. My patience and my knowledge has grown, the teachings I have learned, and the connections I have formed through Miskanawah and Sisters in Circle. I am grateful to walk such a meaningful path—from offering tobacco to the Earth, to picking the medicines, to smudging at home with my children. This is a very real representation of how far I’ve come.”

A Better Person
“No matter how hard life gets, think about the buffalo, the buffalo’s strength is beyond anything else, it runs into the storm until it reaches the light. Diamond Willow is where I found my shine.”

DWYL Youth