"It is said that what the Great Spirit gave to his/her children to live in this physical world in a good way, was given forever."
- Elder Jim Dumont

HOPE

Hope drives our optimism about tomorrow; our own future, and that of our families. It is a balance of our mental wellness through our spiritual connection, and is expressed every day through what we believe in, knowing who we are, and what we care about as Indigenous people.

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BELONGING

Belonging is a direct result of our emotional wellness and is expressed through our connectedness and relationship to family, community, land and culture. As Indigenous people, we know family extends beyond blood to include Clan. Our language tells us we are related to all beings of Creation. Our sense of belonging also comes from our community stories about who we are as a People.

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MEANING

Meaning is created by our mental wellness, and is expressed through rational thought, intuition and understanding of how we connect to Creation, our rich history, and our reason for being. We all want to know our lives have meaning. When we understand who we are, have a connection with family and community, what our roles and responsibilities are, as well as our unique traits and characteristics…we give meaning to our life, which helps us develop an attitude to live life to its fullest.

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PURPOSE

Physical wellness creates purpose, and is expressed through a way of being, doing and wholeness. It is found in our daily lives, whether it is through education, employment, care-giving activities or cultural ways of being and doing. Examples can be our laughter, which helps us cope with life through joy, or picking berries because we understand that this first food is as important to us as a mother's milk is to a newborn. Purpose creates an understanding that we are sacred, and our bodies are 'home' for our spirit, heart and mind, all of which are interconnected and work inseparably.

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New!! First Nations & Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line 1-855-242-3310

Connect
With Culture

.. for Life

A site for Indigenous Youth who know the value of culture and living their best life, but need a little help getting there.
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drives our optimism about tomorrow;
our own future, and that
of our families...

Learn More

is a result of our emotional wellness
and is expressed through our
connectedness...

Learn More

is created by our mental wellness, and
is expressed through rational
thought, intuition ..

Learn More

wellness creates purpose, and is
expressed through a way of
being, doing and wholeness.

Learn More

Watch the videos

Watch the Hope video

hope

Watch the Belonging video

belonging

Watch the Meaning video

meaning

Watch the Purpose video

purpose

What does Culture have to do with how I feel?

Each and every one of us is born with spirit. One's spirit desires to live life to the fullest. Culture is the facilitator of spiritual expression. It is the foundation of a 'good life'.

As Indigenous people, we have a wealth of knowledge from which to draw to know how to live in balance, to care for ourselves, and others. This knowledge remains with us, despite experiences with colonization, residential schools and racism.

There is not 'one' culture in Canada, because culture is defined by the land, language and Nation of the people. Indigenous traditions, ceremonies and practices connect us to our culture. They help us create wellness in our lives by balancing the spirit, heart, mind and body.

We know that when culture is present in our lives, we experience higher levels of wellbeing. If you are unsure how to reconnect with culture, see below.

Drum

Aren't sure how you can connect with your culture?

If you find yourself unsure how to connect with culture, you're not alone.

Many of us have become disconnected with culture, for a number of reasons. Reconnecting with culture can be the most powerful and meaningful thing you can do for yourself and your wellbeing.

We know the power of language in our own wellness. Language gives us perspective on our own lives and the world around us. It is at the heart of our connection with culture. But it's ok if you don't speak your own language. There are many options today, from enrolling in a language class, to downloading an app; learning our own language, starting with just a few words, just got a lot easier.

When trying to connect with culture, it is important to know that many cultural activities require a cultural teacher to understand why we do what we do, such as learning the protocols during a sweat lodge ceremony or right of passage ceremony. But there are other activities, such as social dancing, social singing, smudging and praying, that we can do on our own.

Here are some suggestions:

Take a language class.
Take a language class
Sit and have tea with an Elder
Sit and have tea with an Elder
Learn how to hunt/fish/tan hides
Learn how to hunt/fish/tan hides
Learn what our people called the animals we hunt
Learn what our people called the animals we hunt
Have your dreams interpreted
Have your dreams interpreted
Take part in a cultural activity, social or ceremonial practice
Take part in a cultural activity, social or ceremonial practice
Learn a social dance
Learn a social dance
Listen to and share stories
Listen to and share stories
Learn how to harvest and use natural foods and medicines
Learn how to harvest and use natural foods and medicines
Spend time on the land
Spend time on the land
Take part in give away dances/ceremonies
Take part in give away dances/ceremonies
Visit with medicine people and traditional practitioners
Visit with medicine people and traditional practitioners
Learn the Creation Story
Learn the Creation Story
Take part in a talking circle
Take part in a talking circle
Help cook a feast for your Ancestors/Loved Ones who have gone on
Help cook a feast for your Ancestors/Loved Ones who have gone on
Pray
Pray
Sing
Sing
Take part in a cleansing/sweat lodge ceremony
Take part in a cleansing/sweat lodge ceremony
Learn traditional teachings
Learn traditional teachings

The list can be endless once you start to Connect with Culture. But the important thing is starting...

If you are having thoughts about hurting yourself, or taking your own life,
finding help is the right thing to do.

Call your local emergency number, 911 in most areas.



The new First Nations and Inuit

Hope for Wellness Help Line

is operational and ready to take calls!!

The phone number for the line is 1-855-242-3310

The Help Line will provide immediate culturally competent telephone-based crisis intervention counselling to First Nations and Inuit young people and adults experiencing distress.

Help Line calls will be answered by experienced crisis intervention counsellors, and service will be available in English and French and callers may also ask about the availability of service in Cree, Ojibway and Inuktituk.


Talking it out helps, but if you aren’t sure who to connect with, here are some ideas:


There are also numerous support lines available to help. Here are a few you could try:

Across Canada:


kids help phone 1-800-668-6868

Native Youth Crisis Hotline:

1-877-209-1266

Answered by staff 24/7 throughout Canada and US

For residents of British Columbia:

If you are in distress, or are worried about someone in distress who may hurt themselves, this is a 24/7 crisis line:

1-800-SUICIDE

(1-800-784-2433)

KUU-US Crisis Line Society:


This is an Aboriginal specific crisis line serving all of British Columbia, operated by the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA).
Toll-Free 1-800-588-8717
Youth Line 250-723-2040
Adult Line 250-723-4050

Nunavut Kamatsiaqtut Help Line :

1-800-265-3333


For Indigenous girls & women at risk:

Talk4Healing:


A free & culturally safe help line for Indigenous women, based in northern Ontario, but accessible across Canada. Simply call in and find a caring person to talk to in confidence.

1 855 554 HEAL (4325)

Assaulted Women’s Helpline:

1-866-863-0511

US National Hotline for Domestic Violence:

1-800-799-7233


Many colleges and universities have counselling support available to students.

Ontario Post-Secondary Student Helpline:

1-866-925-5454

Ontario Post-Secondary Student Suicide Hotline:

1-800-784-2433

Ideas for Self-Care

Just like the teaching Kristian shared from his uncle in the Purpose video about his responsibility to look after himself, each of us has a responsibility for self-care.

Here are some self-care ideas you could try:

  • Remember, to keep calm
  • Remind yourself that no matter how bad life seems, Go to the water
  • Go for a walk
  • Meditate
  • Learn about spending time on the land and reconnecting with Creation
  • Practice staying in the moment, being mindful
  • Talk to someone you trust
  • Help someone/volunteer
  • Create something, through art, music, written word

It is important to know that just as the Sun rises every day, our Mother the Earth provides her love for us everyday.

We are all of Creation, and receive unconditional love from the Creator.

If you liked the music in our videos,

check out Mob Bounce, an Indigenous Hip Hop group out of BC. Here they share how their own life experiences & connection with culture helped them become the music sensation they are today!

hope belonging meaning purpose