Indigenous Communities

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).
  • 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.

Classroom Resources

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.

Land Acknowledgement

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.

This photo features a Dene elder speaking to children about WITS in the Kalemi Dene School in Yellowknife, NWT.

RECONCILIATION

“Quite simply means to create harmony. You create harmony with truth and you build truth out of humility. That is spiritual. That is truth. That is Indian. Within us, as nations of Aboriginal people and as individual members of those nations, we have an incredible capacity for survival, endurance, and forgiveness. In the reconciliation with ourselves first, we find the ability to create harmony with others, and that is where it has to start – in the fertile soil of our own hearts, minds, and spirits”

– Richard Wagamese (“Returning to Harmony,” in Speaking My Truth: Reflections on Reconciliation & Residential School)

Have questions? Contact Us.