Mino-si-toon Wichozani: Second Annual Survivors’ Healing Gathering in Winnipeg

ANISHINAABE AND DAKOTA TERRITORY, MB — The Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) is gearing up for its second annual Survivors’ Healing Gathering, scheduled to take place on January 18 and 19 at the Victoria Inn Hotel and Convention Centre in Winnipeg. The event, named “Mino-si-toon Wichozani,” meaning “putting things right” or “doing things in a good way” in Anishinaabemowin and “healing” in Dakota, promises to provide a safe and empowering space for Survivors and Intergenerational Survivors of various traumatic experiences.

Last year’s success saw over 550 participants from 79 First Nations coming together for two days of sharing and healing. SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels expressed his anticipation for this year’s gathering, emphasizing the importance of creating a supportive environment for Survivors to continue advancing on their healing journeys.

The focus of the event extends to Survivors and Intergenerational Survivors of residential schools, day schools, the Sixties Scoop, the child welfare system, as well as those impacted by the national emergency of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, two-spirit, and gender-diverse (MMIWG2s+) relatives.

Keynote addresses from distinguished speakers, including award-winning lawyer Kimberley Murray and bestselling author Tanya Talaga, are expected to offer profound insights. Ms. Murray, a member of the Kahnesatake Mohawk Nation, serves as the Independent Special Interlocutor for Missing Children and Unmarked Graves and Burial Sites associated with residential schools. Ms. Talaga, an Anishinaabe from the Fort William First Nation, is renowned for her impactful work on racism, death, and hard truths in Indigenous communities.

In addition to keynote addresses, the gathering will feature panel discussions and information sessions covering a range of topics such as reclaiming traditional teachings, accessing child and family services files for Sixties Scoop Survivors, harm reduction, grief and loss presentations, Elder and Grandmother teachings, language workshops, and healing exercises like medicine doll making.

Chief Cornell McLean of the Lake Manitoba First Nation encouraged all those impacted to attend, highlighting the event’s affirming and life-changing nature. He emphasized the importance of caring for Survivors and acknowledged the monumental task of creating lasting healing for them and their loved ones.

While the gathering provides opportunities for learning and networking, attendees will also have the chance to participate in various self-care and healing activities. Grand Chief Daniels thanked the Elders, Knowledge Keepers, and the Pathways to Healing Team for their continuous support and efforts in developing the event. He emphasized that those affected by colonialism and its adverse effects on health and well-being deserve the very best.