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.
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.
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.
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.
A site for Indigenous Youth who know the value of culture and living their best life, but need a little help getting there.
drives our optimism about tomorrow;
our own future, and that
of our families...
is a result of our emotional wellness
and is expressed through our
is created by our mental wellness, and
is expressed through rational
thought, intuition ..
wellness creates purpose, and is
expressed through a way of
being, doing and wholeness.
Check out this awesome website created by the Federation of Saskatchewan Indigenous Nations featuring resources and videos on life promotion and supporting First Nations youth!
via the First Nations and Inuit HOPE FOR WELLNESS HELP LINE.
Available in online chat or over the phone
to be connected with a counsellor by phone.
This chat line has people who can help you, even if you don't feel comfortable sharing your real name. They have experience, as well as training about Indigenous cultures and what you might be facing. If you are experiencing distress or are in crisis, please consider connecting with a Hope for Wellness counselor, either by phone or chat line. They speak several languages, including English, French, Cree, Ojibway, and Inuktituk. Just let them know what language you prefer.
Indigenous Youth from across Turtle Island chose to mark World Suicide Prevention Day, September 10th, and Suicide Prevention Month by focusing on living life well through their connection to culture.
Scroll over our map, to see evidence of the POWER of Culture in supporting Indigenous Youth Wellness.
Thank-you to all the youth who participated in our Culture For Life Campaign! A special thank-you also to our partners, who helped make this campaign a success! Please spend some time on our webpage, and see how other youth are connecting with culture. There’s also help for those of us who need help making that connection, and supporting their wellness.
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.
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 rite of passage ceremony. But there are other activities, such as social dancing, social singing, smudging and praying, that we can do on our own.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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!