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.
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.
“Makwa Waakaa’igan will benefit not only our community but the country and the world. It will serve as a cultural centre for all people to learn and experience the history of residential schools and the culture of Indigenous peoples in Canada. ”
Chancellor, Algoma University
“The facility will be a welcoming place for Indigenous peoples to share truth-telling, healing, and reconciliation; a place for celebrating all cultures, traditions, and ceremonies promoting diversity and inclusion.”
Vice-President Nyaagaaniid, Anishinaabe Initiatives, Equity and Student Success, Algoma University
“Makwa Waakaa’igan will be a tremendous addition to Bawating, and represents another step forward in our community’s truth and reconciliation journey.”
Mayor Christian Provenzano
“Makwa Waakaa’igan will provide a culturally appropriate space for the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre (SRSC) and its one of a kind archival collections. Makwa Waakaa’igan will have a tremendous impact on the operations of the Centre and the communities the SRSC serves.”
Interim Director, Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre
“Thanks to the generous support of the Federal and Provincial governments, Makwa Waakaa’igan will provide a safe space for important dialogues about the past, the present and the future.”
President and Vice-Chancellor, Algoma University
“To all the children - past, present and future - may Makwa Waakaa’igan be a place of refuge, safety, healing and learning. Chi miigwetch”
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