Newsletter: March 8, 2022

WellbeingWR releases a newsletter every 2 weeks on Tuesday’s to provide a snapshot of events, initiatives, opportunities and information from the community, while also providing learning opportunities including an equity resource, data spotlight, and journey to reconciliation reflection piece. This is the best way to stay connected to WellbeingWR and the extended Network.

WellbeingWR Updates

Screenshot from revitalization event

Thank you to everyone who participated and engaged with our revitalization! It has been an exciting and uplifting journey, and we are so glad that you were able to join us in celebrating. If you missed the revitalization event, you can watch the recording here.

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Welcome Olivia to the WellbeingWR backbone team! Olivia is joining as the Urban Indigenous Communications Assistant, and has experience with the LGBT Youthline and regularly volunteers with the Indigenous community with O:se Kenhionhata:tie Land Back Camp. Learn more here.

Sydney Headshot

Welcome Sydney to the WellbeingWR backbone team! Sydney is joining as as a practicum student from Laurier’s Master of Social Work – Indigenous Field of Study program. She has spent the last six years working at a community center in Cambridge and is now working at the YMCA.  Learn more here.

Partner Updates & Events

Join Bridges to Belonging for an engaging conversation with Al Etmanski and Rebecca Paul about Contribution, Community and a “Network of Belonging” for your loved one with a disability. This Thursday, March 10th from 6:30pm-8:30pm online. Register here.

Multi coloured hands with hearts in the centre illustration

The Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation (KWCF) has announced a $2.5M impact investment to House of Friendship as a loan towards their new emergency housing with on-site healthcare and housing services to people experiencing homelessness in Waterloo Region. Learn more here.

Abstract tree with a hand as the trunk and multi coloured circles as the leaves

Capacity Canada is inviting young changemakers across Canada to apply for their nine-month paid apprenticeship program. This program is for individuals who want to learn the foundational elements of human centered design in order to bring this professional skill back to their communities. Learn more here.

Illustration of a women with a horse and flowers aside them

The University of Waterloo’s Office of Indigenous Relations March Events:
– Truth and Reconciliation in Higher Education
– Métis 101
– Indigenous Speaker Series with Lenore Keeshig
– Indigenous Storywork by Joanne Archibald

Job Opportunities
– Indigenous Outreach Worker, SOAHAC
Consultant Indigenous Affairs, City of Toronto

Volunteer Opportunities
– Multiple positions available, SPECTRUM WR
Hospitality Crew Member, Habitat for Humanity WR
Telephone Volunteer, City of Kitchener

Journey to Reconciliation Focus

Learn – Cultural exchange is the sharing of different traditions, knowledge and ideas with someone that comes from a different background their your own. Most often cultural exchange occurs to build trust and understanding between Peoples or Nations. An example of this exchange can be seen in Kokum scarves, which means grandmother scarves in Cree. When Ukrainian settlers arrived they brought with them these beautiful flower fabrics that complemented the floral beadwork done by the Cree, Dene and Metis Peoples. These fabrics were shared as the communities worked together, and now today these scarves hold a deep meaning for many Indigenous Peoples. This may be why you might see some Indigenous People choosing to wear one in support of Ukrainians during this troubling time of conflict. Learn more about these scarves here.

Reflect – What are other examples of cultural exchange? What’s the difference between cultural exchange and appropriation?

Practice – Know the difference between Cultural appropriation, appreciation and exchange.

First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Updates


NPAAMB’s Youth Navigation Service is hosting an Evening of Virtual Storytelling with Candilee Ecker-Flagg today from 7:00pm-8:30pm. During this virtual gathering, Cindilee Ecker-Flagg will share her knowledge around the story of Equinox. To register, email

Anishnabeg Outreach Logo

Anishnabeg Outreach is recieving the McMurty Family Fund donation from KWCF to directly support their Spirit Bundle Offering Program. This program provides delivery of donated food and household items to local First Nations, Métis and Inuit families in the KW Region on a bi-weekly basis. Learn more here.

Information that can be found through the attached link

2-Spirited People of the 1st Nations (based in Toronto) is running 4 sexual health education sessions this month for Youth aged 16-29. This program is meant to provide a comfortable and culturally safe space for 2S/Indigiqueer Youth to discuss and explore sexual education that is separate from westernized methods of teaching. Learn more here.

Measuring Wellbeing

The Positive Mental Health Surveillance Indicator Framework (PMHSIF) from the Government of Canada provides information on positive mental health outcomes and its associated risk and protective factors. Positive mental health is a state of wellbeing that allows us to feel, think, and act in ways that enhance our ability to enjoy life and deal with the challenges we face. The 2022 edition of this is now available online, and shines a light onto the mental health and wellbeing of Adults and Youth in Canada. Some data highlights from this edition include:

  • Only 39.6% of population 18+ report they are “very satisfied” with their life in general 
  • 11.5% of the population 18+ report experiencing unfair treatment at least once in the past 5 years based on gender, race, age, or appearance
  • 68.4% of the population 18+ report a “very strong” or “somewhat strong” sense of belonging to their community

COVID-19 Supports

Illustration of a microscopic virus

AS A REMINDER: As of March 1st, many public health measures have been lifted in Ontario:
– Capacity limits lifted in all indoor public settings
– Proof of vaccination requirements lifted
– Other protective measures, such as mask/face covering requirements and active/passive screening of patrons, will remain in place

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