Young Indigenous Women's Circle of Leadership


 

 

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About the Young Indigenous Women's Circle of Leadership

Our Indigenous languages play an essential role in our ability to learn and transmit Indigenous knowledge. The Young Indigenous Women's Circle of Leadership is a program that is assisting young women in their journey to discover and to reclaim their ancestral language and knowledge. YIWCL is open to all young Indigenous women, ages 12-18, though the language teachings focus primarily on the Cree language with a foundation in Cree knowledge and spirituality through immersion experiences.

We work to address many of the TRC's Calls to Action, focusing on the Cree language and knowledge of this territory. Indigenous knowledge, embedded within the language, is critical to an Indigenous person's ability to access guidance and strength, to be able to take care of themselves in many different respects. For example, there are many ceremonies of renewal within Cree tradition that support a relationship of strength and interdependence.

YIWCL provides the young women who are participating with access to ceremonies and connects them with the ability to access their language, knowledges, and strengths. Cree is a spiritual language and as such is the foundation of YIWCL. YIWCL is the only Cree immersion youth program within Alberta.

  • Cree Language Immersion
  • Traditional Ceremonies (when applicable)
  • Cultural Crafts and Traditional Teachings
  • Creative Drama and Storytelling
  • Digital Technology and Literacy
  • Arts-focused learning

Testimonials

"This year I am not only going into grade eight, I am going with a new experience behind me."

"I learned the importance of helping others. This has taught me that leadership affects the many aspects of my life as well as the lives of others. Responsibility and respect have been a huge part also, where it be respecting others or taking actions for your mistakes. For the great help I would like to say thank you to the leaders for giving us an opportunity to explore and share new knowledge."

"During YIWCL I learned the importance of belonging because everyone actually did make me feel at home. I made lots of friends, had lots of fun. It made me feel like I belong."

Resources

News Stories

Expanded Programs

We’re now offering year-round nehiyawewin youth programs!

Are you between the ages of 12 and 18 or have a daughter or granddaughter in this age group? During the summer, we offer our YIWCL nehiyawewin cultural arts immersed in the 'nehiyawewin' language. We will have small groups of young women engaged in hands-on visual, musical, and performative arts.

Participants can expect to receive a backpack, a pocket Cree dictionary, a T-shirt and items that include Cree teachings and texts. Girls who complete the program will receive a certificate of completion from the University of Alberta.

Registration starts in January for our Winter session and in May for our Summer session, so please keep an eye on our website!

We are also offering nehiyawewin learning in a virtual space. We run weekly two-hour sessions for 12 weeks at a time, during our Fall/Winter sessions. Our experienced instructors embrace both digital learning methods and cultural values in a variety of lesson topics.

We also offer weekend modules in partnership with communities who are interested. Please reach out to us if we can assist!

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact the YIWCL Coordinator.

Christina Buffalo
E-mail: cilles@ualberta.ca
In-Office Phone: 780-492-4188