Anishinaabe Noojimo’iweyang Ezhi-Dibaajimoyang Ji-Naasaabwaabamidiyang
Healing Through Telling Stories
This program was birthed at the very first Healing Stories event that took place in Kchiwiikwedong (Keweenaw Bay Indian Community) in 2015. The Native Justice Coalition Director was working as a Consultant with the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion at the time. There were 16 Story Sharers and 60 attendees to make a successful first event. Keweenaw Bay youth, elders, women, and Two-Spirits shared their stories. It was a powerful event for greater community healing. This was a part of a larger initiative to build a statewide racial justice coalition in Michigan. Similar projects took place in Detroit, Flint, and Benton Harbor. You can view the video of this work here – Healing Stories Project.
At the Native Justice Coalition we are passionate about sharing our stories, healing, and racial justice. This program emphasizes public story sharing on racism to bring voice and visibility to our people and communities. If grant funds are available we plan to digitally record all the stories into documentaries for community resources. If requested by the community we will offer private story sharing opportunities as some people may not feel safe to share publicly.
This program brings a much needed resource on racial justice to our rural and remote Anishinaabe communities. Historically Native people have been excluded from racial justice work in the United States. The Native Justice Coalition works diligently to break down this barrier in some of the most forgotten places because our communities are out of sight and out of mind from most of the majority culture in the United States. We strive center Native people in racial justice work to challenge the painful legacy of erasure that we face daily. We will be culturally sensitive and address this work inside of an Anishinaabe led framework. With this foundation we can address current injustices and generational trauma due to being survivors of genocide. In turn, this will provide healing for our communities and empower our people.
We are currently planning Healing Stories events across Michigan in 2023. These events are expected to take place from spring to autumn.
Past Projects & Success
The Healing Stories program was officially launched in 2018 with grants from LUSH Charity Pot, AJ Muste Social Justice Fund, and the Third Wave Fund. With these grant funds were were able to do these events in 3 Anishinaabe communities in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan – Hannahville Indian Community, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, and the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. Between the 3 communities we had 23 Story Sharers and had over 100 event attendees who participated in this amazing work.
In 2019 we hosted events in the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, and Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. Between these 3 communities we had 30 Story Sharers and 95 event attendees. We are excited about this growth in our Anishinaabe communities in the past two years. We made new connections and established new community partnerships in this Native led racial and healing justice work in our territory. See the past event flyers below for more information.
Since 2018 we have held 6 events across our rural and remote Anishinaabe communities in Northern Michigan. A total of 53 Story Sharers and 195 event attendees have participated in this important work for our people and communities.
Due to the pandemic, we did not hold events in 2020 and 2021.