September – July
Urban Indigenous Ways of Knowing objectives is to provide youth with opportunities to travel out of the city to other communities and explore how we can access and apply cultural ways of knowing within urban spaces. For participants attending the trips and workshops, this program aims to provide transformative first-time experiences for youth who face barriers when accessing cultural programming and traveling for ceremony. Past trips included Crawford Lake Conservation Area, Petroglyphs Provincial Park, Woodland Cultural Centre and various Indigenous communities close to the Toronto area.
During these field trips some of our youth experience for the first time participating in ceremony, traveling to sacred sites and meeting with Elders and knowledge keepers. In addition to the field trips, youth are mentored by Indigenous Artists, to prepare for the creative component of this program to be involved in a large group project for youth to design and paint a mural. The anticipated long-term impact is that the workshops within this program will continue to be memorable and transformative experiences for Indigenous youth ages 16-24. The program impacts how these participants locate themselves and indigenize space when they are in the city, while also allowing them to connect with knowledge keepers growing their bundles and ways of knowing. When the youth collaborate on the large scale creative component, they are able to see how ideas can be visualized, and how this process carries on not just the tradition of image-making but also visual literacy. This component of the program allows youth to see themselves reflected in the urban landscape in a positive way, and re-Indigenize the landscape.