Hosted at the University of Toronto Mississauga, Giizhiitaa ~ Coming Full Circle is a multimedia showcase aiming to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of Peel youth participating in the Indigenous Spirit Journey program.

The Indigenous Spirit Journey program is a unique mentoring initiative and experiential learning opportunity involving land-based activities founded on Indigenous philosophical teachings. Contributing to intercultural diversity and Indigenous awareness, the program exists in partnership with the Riverwood Conservancy, Peel Aboriginal Network, Dufferin Peel Catholic School Board, the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Centre for Student Engagement at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM). Weekly sessions are hosted outdoors at the Riverwood Conservancy, in which UTM students act as volunteer mentors, supporting both the Knowledge Keepers and Elders and youth mentees in the program. In addition to mentoring, the Indigenous Spirit Journey Program contributes to both youth and UTM student participants’ learning, providing teachings involving therapeutic horticulture, environmental sustainability, and leadership development through an Indigenous lens. Lastly, the program serves to foster an understanding of the importance of intercultural inclusion, respect for diversity, and connection to one’s culture, aiding in strengthening identity and role in the greater community.

Giizhiitaa ~ Coming Full Circle is an opportunity for youth mentees and UTM student mentors to display their personal growth and newfound perspectives in a tangible way. In the form of a personal Medicine Wheel, participants will reflect upon each of the Four Directions through photo journals, written and spoken pieces, paintings, dance and more. Giizhiitaa’s objective is for all participants, through their narratives, to provide insight into how they conceptualize their circumstances and their hopes for the future, which can help them to better understand themselves, their connection to the group, the land, and their communities.

The Giizhiitaa ~ Coming Full Circle took place on Thursday, December 13th from 12:00 to 2:00 pm at the University of Toronto Mississauga in Spigel Hall (Davis Building).