The WITS Programs Foundation attempts to be an ally of and work in harmony with Indigenous people in humble support of reconciliation:
- We endorse the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (commonly called UNDRIP).
- Read the full UNDRIP declaration in this PDF, or
- share this UNDRIP for Indigenous Youth PDF with your students.
- All WPF staff have been educated in Indigenous cultural safety.
- Representatives from our team attend the FNESC Indigenous Education Conference.
- WITS subscriptions are free to Indigenous schools.
- With a collaborative community-led approach, WITS Programs are easily adapted to local cultures, and have been started in several dozen Indigenous community schools.
- Information about WITS is now available in Cree ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐏ. And our flagship children’s book, Walrus Gift, was translated into SENĆOŦEN, a Coast Salish language.
WITS Book lists include a number of suggestions and lesson plans for books written by Indigenous authors and discussing Indigenous experiences, knowledge, and cultures. Subscribed schools (free for Indigenous schools) can access our store to purchase books and download lesson plans for the classroom.
Orange Shirt Day is a growing national movement that encourages education about, recognition of, and support for survivors of the residential school system. To help your students understand why your school honours Orange Shirt Day, check out the resources for teachers on the Orange Shirt Day society website.
WITS Programs are delivered throughout Canada, and thus take place on the territories of the many Indigenous peoples – First Nations, Inuit, and Metis – who have made their homes on this land for millenia.
WITS staff, and the WITS home office, work, play and benefit from living in the unceded territories of the Lkwungen (Songhees) & Wyomilth (Esquimalt) peoples of the Coast Salish Nation, and commit to continued learning and to acts of reconciliation and justice.
WITS in Indigenous schools
Many Indigenous communities have started WITS Programs. Most schools in the Northwest Territories use WITS, as well as Indigenous schools in the other two territories and most provinces in Canada. We are proud to have strong relationships with Qu’utsun Smuneem School of the Cowichan Tribes in BC, Joe A. Ross School of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation in Manitoba, and many others.
One school’s experience: CBC News story In 2012, this school in Little Pine First Nation, Saskatchewan started WITS.
This photo features a Dene elder speaking to children about WITS in Kalemi Dene School, Yellowknife, NT.