OSKISKWEWAK

Oskiskwewak, Cree for Young Women Helpers, is an opportunity to learn together, to relearn who we are as Indigenous women, to learn some leadership and life skills, but most of all, to learn to love ourselves as an Indigenous woman. This is an opportunity to seek out and reclaim our cultural identity, find soul healing and be part of a community that will love, support and care for one another in a culturally safe environment.

AHNII, TANSI, Welcome!

  • As Indigenous people we need to reclaim our identity by addressing how we see ourselves, a picture which has become distorted through the lens of colonization.
  • Indigenous People need to address the effects of colonization in connection with their identity and way of life not excluding language, culture and spirituality.
  • This can be done by reconnecting with our Elders and Knowledge Keepers as they share their knowledge, wisdom and teachings as were traditionally practiced long ago.

Artist Simone McLeod

A Bit Of Background . . .

  • Moccasin Lodge has been born out of a passion to provide a space to reclaim one’s cultural identity in an environment that is spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically safe.
  • Cultural identity is fundamental to how we see ourselves and the world. Establishing an identity is not an easy process. Identity is dynamic, complex and changes over time. Cultural Identity begins in the womb and then develops by the environment that surrounds us. It impacts our wholistic well-being.
  • For Indigenous people, our culture, is the core essence of our sense of identity, sense of belonging, the land we come from and the interconnectedness with each other and Creator.
  • Indigenous youth need to reclaim a healthy sense of identity and what it means for them to be Indigenous living on their traditional territories.

MISSION

We desire to inspire Indigenous young people to seek out and stand up against adversity and reflect on their qualities of inner strength, courage, and resiliency.

VISION

We are passionate about fostering pathways, cultivating relationships and journeying alongside Indigenous youth, their families and communities to equip and engage them in reclaiming their culture within a holistic framework and rediscovering their Creator-given identity and purpose.

CULTURAL IDENTITY MEDICINE WHEEL

Establishing a
sense of
Cultural Identity
is an ongoing
process.

  • As a community we are responsible for providing youth with the knowledge, skills and abilities to navigate their environment with understanding and confidence.
  • Preparing youth for the path ahead is the responsibility of the community.
  • We must give them the vital information needed to make informed choices as they explore their freedom and the responsibility that comes with this age.

Photo by Katherine Takpannie

Autumn Peltier,
Anishnaabe water carrier

  • Having positive role models and engaging youth in leadership activities ensures that youth can become more culturally active, feel proud about their accomplishments, and become more involved in their broader community.
  • Having Aunties and Grandmothers take on the responsibility of guiding the young woman into womanhood by teaching them about their connection to the natural world and the responsibilities they carry as a woman.
  • The purpose is to ensure that values, traditions, and identity are seen as a source of courage, strength, honour and pride for the future.
  • It is important to reclaim this rite of passage as young women.
  • The role of the Oskiskwewak involves honouring the Creator, learning through service and gaining experience surrounding ceremonies.
  • This is an opportunity to influence others, grow internally and be part of community life.
  • For teen girls 13 – 17 years old.
  • A space to reclaim their cultural identity.
  • Will be equipped to become effective and authentic leaders.
  • Encompass relationship building.

Cree for Young Women Helpers

The Objectives of the Oskiskwewak Program are:

  • Create relationships where young Indigenous women are part of a community where they feel supported and cared for
  • To promote personal and spiritual growth where young Indigenous women embrace who they are and ultimately, learn to love themselves
  • MENTORSHIP
  • SCHOOL CHECK-INS
  • TRADITIONAL EVENTS
  • SEASONAL RETREATS
  • SUMMER CAMPS

MENTORSHIP

Creating Relationships

AltTextBetween the youth and Aunties/Kokum's
AltTextBetween the youth and a peer mentor
AltTextBetween the youth and one another

SCHOOL CHECK-INS

AltTextPeer mentors will touch base regularly with the youth

AltTextMonthly group gatherings throughout the school year

TRADITIONAL EVENTS

Youth will be invited to traditional community events

AltTextPowwow
AltTextRounddance
AltTextFeast
AltTextElder gatherings

SEASONAL RETREATS

DAGWAAGIN(Fall)RETREAT
BIBOON(Winter)RETREAT
ZIIGWAN(Spring)RETREAT
NIIBIN(Summer)RETREAT

SUMMER CAMPS

AltTextOpportunity to participate in a Leadership-in-Training camp

AltTextOpportunity to attend the Kids Culture Camp

 EXAMPLES OF OSKISKWEWAK GATHERINGS


GATHERING 1: Who Are You?

Introductions
Where we come from?
Personal shield exercise
Mentor/mentee connection

GATHERING 2: Truth Telling

KAIROS Blanket Exercise
Sharing Circle


GATHERING 3: Traditional Ways

Women’s roles
Rites of Passage
Ribbon Skirt Making

GATHERING 4: Teachings

The Seven Grandfather Teachings
Smudging, Sweatlodge, Full Moon Ceremony
Medicine Wheel, Sacred Medicines


GATHERING 5: Soul Healing

Intergenerational Trauma
Coping Strategies
Self-Esteem
Walking in Balance

GATHERING 6: Empowerment

Positive Body Image
Affirmations
Self-care
Using Your Voice


GATHERING 7: Healthy Relationships

Family
Friends
Romantic

GATHERING 8: Leadership

Understanding your leadership style
Team Building
Self-awareness, Public Speaking


GATHERING 9: Life Skills

Resume Building
Decision Making
First Aid/CPR, Babysitting Course

GATHERING 10: This Is Me

Visioning Board
Goal Setting
Self-Reflection

LASTING RELATIONSHIPS

  • Youth need Love and Support
  • Youth need to feel Valued
  • Youth need to be Believed
  • Youth need someone who Cares for them
  • Youth need someone who is Rooting for them
  • Youth need someone Praying for them

Chief Sitting Bull