Stories in this category document some of the ways Elders are involved in the creation and delivery of programs to support Indigenous people. Several Elders share stories of trauma from their experiences of attending residential schools and the barriers they have faced as a result of the ongoing impacts of colonialism, and share how they came to assume leadership roles in their communities. Elders and allies share experiences of building relationships, community, and appreciation of Indigenous culture, which has changed dramatically over time. They also bring attention to the need to value Elder’s time through culturally appropriate and financial ways. Elders bring knowledge of language, history, relationship to land, stories, ceremony, spirituality and culture and these stories show their integral role in developing, teaching and offering support and knowledge for programs at the community, public school and post-secondary levels.
The Alternative Secondary School Program (ASSP) addresses the needs of urban Indigenous students in Fort Frances and surrounding areas by creating a culture-based educational environment where the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual areas of a student's life are centered.
Wiingashk Alternative Secondary School is located at N’Amerind Friendship Centre in London. This program offers urban Indigenous students a culture-based education that balances the secondary school curriculum with wholistic, culturally relevant educational approaches.
Meeka is a well-known teacher of education, healing, and Inuit culture. She started teaching children in 1971, and moved onto adult education at Nunavut Arctic College for 18 years. Meeka believes that elder knowledge from experience is necessary have a foundation for living an Inuit life as our ancestor did. She hopes that healing and education from Inuit go a long way.