Akak’stiman Indigenous Strategy

21% of Calgary’s homeless population is Indigenous

1 in 4 Indigenous children in Calgary live in poverty

62% of those in Alberta’s child welfare system are Indigenous, although only 10% of the province’s children are Indigenous

In 2018, United Way launched a new five-year strategic plan, which included among its objectives that United Way and Indigenous communities have a relationship built on trust, respect, and reciprocity. To meet this objective, United Way embarked on a journey to develop an organizational Indigenous strategy that reflects the spirit and intent of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report, Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future.

Akak’stiman: Journey of Creative Planning to Achieve Goals is a multi-generational strategy that guides United Way’s business practices, Indigenous-focused investments, and our relationships with Indigenous communities. Developed with guidance and leadership from local Elders, the strategy reflects our commitment to building relationships with Indigenous people by recognizing and honouring both Western and Indigenous ways of knowing, being, and doing.

Akak’stiman signals United Way’s intention to be an ally, leader, and relative in reconciliation.

Read the strategy summary

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Watch our strategy journey story

What’s Being Done

United Way invests in programs and initiatives that strengthen Indigenous cultural identity and support the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of Indigenous people through Indigenous legacy education, genuine cultural practices, and therapeutic activities.

Akak’stiman is a natural continuation and evolution of these investments, which are aligned with specific Calls to Actions outlined by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

A group of people share a laugh.

United Way’s Indigenous Advisory Committee advises on the implementation of United Way’s Akak’stiman Indigenous Strategy.

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Natoo'si logo.

We invest more than $1.8 million in Indigenous programs annually under our Natoo’si Indigenous Healing and Well-being Initiative, which is focused on supporting individuals, children, youth, and families in healing from intergenerational trauma

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A painting of a dancer on a window.

In partnership with Miskanawah Community Services Association, United Way has developed the Diamond Willow Youth Lodge. Launched in the fall of 2018, the lodge serves as an inclusive, welcome gathering space for Calgary’s Indigenous youth to connect and celebrate their culture in a safe environment.

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A group of elders in a convention space.

United Way is an ally and incubator for the Elders Knowledge Circle, which offers a centralized place of knowledge and wisdom where Elders from different nations act as resources to benefit both Indigenous and non-Indigenous groups.

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United Way of Calgary and AreaAkak’stiman Indigenous Strategy