Smith’s Landing First Nation
Journey to my Best Self Akaitcho
To foster community and personal development, the Journey to my Best Self program focuses on healing and reconciliation for the people in the Akaitcho region, specifically for the Smith's Landing First Nation, Salt River First Nation, and the Northwest Territories Métis membership.
The program is a culture-based program that created opportunities to heal for personal development. The program hosted a variety of cultural and educational activities with an emphasis on historical policies and interventions that have deeply disrupted the intergenerational exchange of traditional knowledge.
The facilitated workshops focused on helping participants identify personal wellness goals to work towards and created a welcoming place to hold talking circles and discuss the intergenerational residential school traumas that affects their region. Participants taught Dene traditional values, laws, and relationships and learned how to build on them for a positive future. Participants also explored different communication tools, traditional crafting, arts lessons and cultural skills like moose hide tanning, ribbon skirt and shirt making. The group included adults of all ages including Elders and residential school survivors.
The program was created with hopes to help the people to recognize their own value, connect to inner strengths and inner resources within themselves and grow as strong Dene.