Spring is finally here, and after wrapping up an incredibly successful weekend with Ziigwan, our first-ever Indigenous music and arts festival, DWF is looking forward to all the ways we can take reconciliACTION together! Whether it’s registering your 2023 Walk for Wenjack, joining the upcoming Youth Ambassador Program, or checking out our brand-new Legacy Spaces partners, DWF has you covered— check out all the details below!
Ziigwan Shines a Spotlight on Indigenous Talent
DWF Artist Ambassadors, the Strong Water Singers, performing at Ziigwan, March 24, 2023
From March 24 – 26, DWF and partners, Downtown Yonge Business Improve Area (DYBIA), ELMNT FM Radio, Red Music Rising, Canada’s Music Incubator, and Music Tourism, brought Yonge-Dundas Square to life with Ziigwan, a three-day Indigenous music and arts festival featuring some of the country’s most prominent and emerging Indigenous artists!
The festival kicked off Friday with DWF’s Day of Education with over 350 students from the Greater Toronto Area. Students enjoyed a drumming performance from the Strong Water Singers and participated in the first-ever DWF LIVE in-person, featuring Artist Ambassadors DJ Classic Roots and Theland Kicknoway. After some fun dancing and singing, students visited different learning activations and art installations around the square, where they learned how to drum, hoop dance, speak Anishinaabemowin, and more!
DWF Artist Ambassador, Theland Kicknosway, teaches Hoop Dancing at Ziigwan Day of Education, March 24, 2023
Thank you to the Legacy Schools that participated in the event, your enthusiasm was contagious and set the tone for a special weekend!
Walk for Wenjack 2023
Students in Toronto participating in a Walk for Wenjack
The 2023 Walk for Wenjack website is now live!
Organized by a dedicated team of volunteers and champions, Walk for Wenjack is a grassroots event that started in 2016. The first walk retraced the steps of Chanie Wenjack, starting at the Cecilia Jeffrey Residential School in Kenora, ON, and continued to Redditt, ON for a ceremony representing Chanie’s final resting spot near Farlane, ON. Since then, Walk for Wenjack has provided Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada with the opportunity to participate in Secret Path Week in a meaningful way. Walk for Wenjack events can take place any time of year and are a way to take reconciliACTION.
Legacy Schools’ ReconciliACTIONs
Students at Paul Dwyer Catholic High School learn about resiliency and land with Knowledge Keeper, Beedahbin.
Grade 11 students at Paul Dwyer Catholic High School were joined by a Knowledge Keeper, Beedahbin, on their nature walk. Students learned lessons about resiliency in connection with plant-based medicine and being in harmony with the land.
Students attending the ‘Breaking Down Stereotypes’ art installation at the Durham Catholic District School Board.
The students also attended an art installation at the Durham Catholic District School Board which was created by the First Peoples House of Learning at Trent University. The piece entitled, Breaking Down Stereotypes, explores labels and assumptions that have been pushed onto Indigenous identity. After students were able to reflect on the struggle and reclamation of Indigenous culture, they wrote a reflection piece on what image spoke to them the most.
Youth Ambassador Applications are OPEN!
We are happy to announce that the DWF Youth Ambassador Program will be taking place again this summer! The program allows individuals to gain practical work experience and develop leadership skills by connecting 100 Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth ages 16–25 throughout Canada. While learning about Canada’s true history, youth will develop a deeper understanding of what reconciliation means to them, how to apply it in their communities, and how to be leaders of positive change.
Legacy Spaces Updates
The Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) will be creating a Legacy Space in their downtown Toronto office.
GWL Realty Advisors (GWLRA) will be creating a Legacy Space inside their Toronto office, while also finding unique ways to engage their team and surrounding communities.
“As a leading real estate organization, we are approaching the Legacy Spaces program in a slightly different way. The office buildings that we manage are busy hubs to thousands of businesses, visitors, and transient traffic,” says Glenn Way, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, GWLRA. “We believe that the lobbies of these buildings offer a tremendous opportunity to share important messages with the community.”