Indigenous Success Stories

Health (18-24)

In photos: Indigenous Health Learning Lodge welcome gathering celebrates a transformative new space

September 25, 2022
Interpretive dance performances, organized by JP Longboat of Circadia Indigena, started with the Jingle dress dance. (All photos by Georgia Kirkos/McMaster University).

McMaster University Daily News: In advance of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30, a welcome gathering was held at the Indigenous Health Learning Lodge (IHLL), also known as Tsi nón:we ayakonniyóhake táhnon aonsayakota’karitehake (The place of good life and return to health) and Mino Bimaadiziwin Mishkiki Aapjishnik Gamik (The good life; medicine recovery healing lodge).

Speaking about the Indigenous Health Learning at the welcome gathering on Friday evening, McMaster Chancellor Santee Smith recognized the inspiring work of Bernice Downey, associate dean, Indigenous Health, in the Faculty of Health Sciences, and the IHLL team. They have built a transformative space where everyone is invited and welcome.

Downey expressed how meaningful the welcome gathering is, as a coming together and a “high point in the relationships that have been established, both within the faculty and across the university, a celebration of our Indigenous ways of knowing, our culture, our ceremony, our songs.”

On the momentous evening in L.R. Wilson Hall, IHLL’s Executive Director, Lori Davis Hill, spoke about the pathway to the Indigenous Health Learning Lodge, which is dedicated to Indigenous education and curriculum, student support and services, and an Indigenous way of knowing that fosters an ongoing collaborative relationship with Go di we na wa she/Shkaabewis – Knowledge Helpers and their networks.

The Lodge is also focused on enhancing awareness and cultural safety skills for non-Indigenous learners, faculty, staff and community members.

Below are photo highlights of the welcome gathering that took place in L.R. Wilson Hall: