Sharing is tradition : Hotıì ts’eeda’s sharing circle goes live

(Photo courtesy of Hotıì ts’eeda )

Hotıì ts’eeda has taken the initiative to develop COVID-19 resource materials for Indigenous communities.

A variety of posters using the hashtag #HOMEISCAMP is part of the campaign talking about the benefits of staying at home. 

This document comes in eleven distinct languages including Tłı̨chǫ, Inuvialuktun, Inuinnaqtun, Sahtúgot’ı̨nę, Inuktitut, English, French, and more.

#HOMEISCAMP

The hashtag initiative allows the NWT and larger Indigenous community a platform to share their lockdown experience with each other.

In addition, Hotıì ts’eeda organized a panel of community leaders, experts, and medical professionals to contribute to the conversation of COVID-19 health response.

Hotıì ts’eeda’s sharing circle goes live as they reach out to the larger indigenous community through Facebook.

This panel included  Tłı̨chǫ Elder Nora Wedzin from Behchokò; Lianne Mantla-Look, a registered nurse and patient engagement specialist, Dr. Nicole Redvers, doctor of naturopathic medicine, Jennie Vandermeer mental health and wellness advocate; and moderator Dëneze Nakehk’o,  a journalist, educator and facilitator.

“It was a good idea because a lot of the community uses Facebook,”  said Nora Wedzin in an interview.

“Because language is a huge part of our identity and culture, we must keep those traditions by sharing our opinions and experiences. My goal is to share my message in fighting the pandemic. We need to get to the other side. We need to continue to work together in unity to prevent COVID-19 from re-entering the NWT,” Wedzin said.

These resources show the “federal and territorial government’s advice on pandemic safety measures through an Indigenous lens and with cultural safety in mind”, as stated on their webpage.

Jennie Vandermeer, Indigenous Evaluations Specialist, and creator of the Facebook Live sharing circle initiative said in an interview, “I wanted to create a platform with an indigenous focus. For our people. By our people. I noticed a gap missing and a lack of indigenous voices up north”

“The sharing circle is reflective of indigenous perspectives, solutions, and research to give comfort for the community in battling COVID-19,Vandermeer said.

“Adjusting to an online platform is challenging,” said Vandermeer, “but we’re working on it.”

Hotıì t’seeda continues to collaborate with community leaders and experts to curate “culturally safe resource materials”.

Hotıì ts’eeda is offering recorded audio and video versions of the panel and other resources to the wider online community.

About the Author

Mariah Caruso
Mariah Caruso is a digital journalist, originally from Toronto, Canada. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a Hons. Bachelor of Arts and completed her Journalism post-grad at Sheridan College. She has an insatiable appetite for life, storytelling, connecting to the people, and getting to the heart of the issue. Mariah is excited to begin her journey and career in Yellowknife, NWT, and get involved with the community. If you have a story idea, feel free to send her an email at mariah.caruso@cklbradio.com

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