On October 28, 2019 our Indigenous-based holistic women’s health program embarked on a traditional Blackfoot Naming Ceremony, conducted by Elder, Eldon Weasel Child and Elder, Ruth Scalp Lock. The ceremony was held in the Tipi at Mahmawi-Atoskiwin, with friends and supporters of the program in attendance.
Elders Ruth and Eldon gifted the program the Blackfoot name Makoyoh’sokoi, which translates to Wolf Trail in English. Program co-founder Dr. Sonja Wicklum and members of the Advisory Group were present to receive the name and enjoy the celebration.
The new name Makoyoh’sokoi began a new path for the program as it continues to develop and expand to Nations all over Canada. The focus of the culturally based program is empowerment and education, around wellness, health and physical activity for women from the Indigenous community.
In 2019, our team was successful in receiving funding from the CIHR ‘Indigenous Gender and Wellness: Idea Fair and Learning Circle’ Travel Award. Two core team members attended the Idea Fair and Learning Circle event in June of 2019 in Montreal. At the Idea Fair, our representatives presented our Program, engaged in discussions and shared ideas on Indigenous gender and wellness with other stakeholders.
In 2020, our team obtained funding from the CIHR ‘Indigenous Gender and Wellness: Idea Fair and Learning Circle’ Development Grant. This Grant provided support for the further development of the program itself; the establishment of an Advisory Group to guide program development, expansion into new communities and research; the hosting of regional community events; the promotion of a ‘community of practice’ (CoP); as well as the production of various research outputs.
In 2021, our team received a Public Health Agency of Canada – Healthy Canadians and Communities Fund Grant as well as funding from Capital Power, the Melton Foundation, and an Anonymous donor.