All photography provided by Jared Chambers
The Feather Carriers: Leadership for Life Promotion program is comprised of a community mobilization strategy founded on Indigenous concepts of life promotion, and a year long Indigenous life promotion training.
Collectively, the Feather Carriers life promotion training is an approach that speaks to the heart and minds of people working with individuals and families who are at risk of premature death, as well as supporting loss survivors.
Gathered from all directions, Feather Carriers brings the knowledge and experience of the whole community into practice. It builds on the values and belief that in this present time; life is worth living. As such, this training is meant to develop community leaders who will help promote life and prevent premature death.
From this place of strength and resiliency the voice of the life spirit is heard in the stories of the attempt and loss survivors who continue to walk the path of mino bimaadiziwin.
It also involves respecting our ancestors who have left through the western doorway before us, and are sending into the future the message of the seven grandfathers to have wisdom, love, courage, truth, respect, humility, and honesty as we walk in balance on mino bimaadiziwin miikane.
What We've Achieved
- Indicated various levels of community readiness from low to high engagement.
- Self-determined engagement recognizing a broad range of Wholistic approaches to meet community needs and strengths.
- Affirmed traditional cultural knowledge as foundational and valuable.
- Built on experience of present time rather than action referenced to historical (past) events (colonization/cultural genocide/disproportionate statistics for health determinants.
- Created measures for life promotion collective impact.
- Evolved and adapted training and education to increase community of practice
- Built on strengths and needs of the community (not a one size fits all approach)
- Promoted Knowledge and Traditional Knowledge transfer (local and broader public access to literature created).
- Built collaborative partnerships, interagency capacity building
- Provided a written narrative as an effective means to communicate research regionally, and internationally.
- Secured funding through the Simcoe North Muskoka LHIN for two staff, the Life Promotion Director and the Community Life Promoter.
- Secured funding through the Thunderbird Foundation for the National Youth Coordinator.