Creative Decolonizing Strategies

Drawing Wisdom is a Hello Cool World collaborative project. We make films, launch campaigns, hold workshops, and create teaching resources. All designed to celebrate Indigenous resilience.
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With the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in the news, it's timely that we've released this short video made in collaboration with Hello Cool World Media and VACPC.

Na'tsa'mat, a healing journey, explores different ways of healing from trauma, through traditions, through dance and through counselling. This short film takes a gentle strengths-based approach to difficult subject matter. 

"We're talking about Indigenous women, who are some of the most marginalized people in our country. We really need to not stereotype them, they need to be seen as individuals, as real people." ~ Billie Jeanne Sinclair

Sinclair shares a deeply personal example of how important this is. When her aunt Georgina Papin went missing, the images that were shown on the media stereotyped her. Na'tsa'mat co-director Jada-Gabrielle Pape says: "I have used this example in cultural safety workshops, how Georgina Papin's mug shot was used instead of reaching out to her family, to those who loved her, to find a photo that represents her life."  This is what Sinclair is doing, with her Butterflies in Spirit tee shirt she shows her aunt's image as the beaufiful, gregarious, lively women her family thinks of when they remember her.

Butterlies in Spirit dance group founder, and Na'tsa'mat program coordintor Lorelei Williams... (more)

by Jada-Gabrielle Pape, Saanich & Snuneymuxw Nations

Wellness is different than well-being. To me wellness puts more of a focus on the physical aspect of health. In healthcare we often hear about “wellness fairs” where people can collect brochures about heart-health, back-health, healthy-eating, sexual-health or sleeping tips or ways to fit exercise into our daily routines.

Our physical health is only one of the fibres woven into the fabric of our lives. While we see wide focus on wellness it is well-being that really interests me. Well-being encompasses the notion of BEING.

I come from a people whose history stems from a little bay on the Saanich Peninsula of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. We know ourselves to be salmon people. Some of us gather medicine in our traditional territory. We pray - sometimes together and sometimes alone. We used to travel by canoe and on foot. These identifiers contribute to my overall wellbeing and these fibres are some of the strands that make up the fabric of my life — my life, as an Indigenous woman, as a Saanich and Snuneymuxw woman, as a mother, a daughter, a community member, they all contribute to my wellbeing.

Many of my family members are my teachers. When I told one of my uncles, “My friend is really sad these days.” I said to him, “It’s like her heart is hurt.”

He said to me, “Think about... (more)