Home > Special Mission > Makwa Waakaa’igan

Makwa Waakaa'igan

Makwa Waakaa’igan will serve as a centre of cultural excellence for the country; a place where people of all cultures will be welcomed from around the world to share and learn from and with each other as part of the university’s commitment to creating a safe, welcoming and inclusive place for cross-cultural understanding, teaching, learning healing and reconciliation.

Makwa Waakaa’igan will showcase the life’s work of the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association, a committed group of Residential School Survivors and their descendants. Once complete, the facility will also serve as the new home for the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre archives and Aboriginal Healing Foundation Collection.

tipi in the fall
Learning and healing through ceremony

The name Makwa Waakaa’igan was given to this place of learning and healing through ceremony and in recognition of this very significant work. In Anishinaabemowin, Makwa, the bear, is a carrier of medicine, and as such a healer; Waakaa’igan refers to its lodge or den. Algoma University will ensure that the significance of this name will be reflected throughout the project’s functional design.

jingle dress
Welcoming our future

Makwa Waakaa’igan is a place where the sharing of knowledge, learning and research take place, along with cultural, artistic, healing and ceremonial activities. The specific needs will be identified by Algoma University in consultation and collaboration with Anishinaabe communities. We take the approach that all of these activities are connected and interconnected, and woven through them are Indigenous worldviews and Indigenous teachings. The learning spaces in Makwa Waakaa’igan are safe and inclusive for all people with respect for Indigenous ways and Indigenous knowledge.

To view or download the vision document in PDF format, please click here.

Funding Announcement

Algoma University is embarking on a momentous infrastructure project on the Shingwauk site in Sault Ste. Marie.

View Press Release Watch Video
zoom call
Honouring the past & celebrating the present

Giving space, acknowledgment, respect and engagement of stakeholders in developing the vision for Makwa Waakaa’igan. Chi-Miigwech – thank you to our team for their collaborative efforts thus far on this project. The Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre (SRSC) has played a vital role enhancing the healing and reconciliation process for Indigenous communities impacted by the residential school system. Listen to what the survivors have to say.

Watch Video