Volunteer Bi-Giwen 2018

Would you like to volunteer for the 2017 NISCW Gathering?


Bi-giwen (Bee-gee-win) means to come home.


The NISCWN is committed to the collective healing strategy that promotes self-love and self-care that re-aligns with our current cultural and healing needs. By relearning our ways, this year’s event will offer a space that is safe and secure using land-based healing methods. For participants, this opportunity will begin to set milestones of healing that may ensure future healing and cultural interventions are successful.

The Gathering will honour the needs of survivors of the Sixties Scoop by providing them with a unique opportunity to be: (1) heard, listened to and have their lived experiences validated by other adoptees; (2) met 'where they are at' in acknowledgement that as survivors they are all at different places on their journey towards healing and wholeness; (3) community supported while building to strengthen mutual and accountable relationships with other survivors in a safe and collective manner; and; (4) part of a national grassroots, adoptee-led, community-driven justice and healing movement to address impacts of colonial child welfare policies.

The objective of this Gathering is to continue our work in helping 60’s Scoop survivors and their family members who were also impacted through the inter-generational trauma and loss of culture and identity in their healing process with goals focused on cultural, language and ceremonial recovery in a safe and supporting and land-based environment. Your audience will be First Nations, Inuit and Metis 60’s Scoop survivors and those who experienced adoption or foster care in non-Indigenous households during this era. Over the course of four (4) days participants will participate in Indigenous knowledge, ceremony, arts and crafts, awareness, understanding, enlightenment and empowerment workshops to help meet the Gatherings goals and objectives. The event’s overall objective is to provide high quality, informative and educational experiences to Indigenous adoptees.  We rely on volunteers to keep our gatherings running smoothly.

Welcoming attendees to the Gathering and helping attendees feel comfortable throughout, & to help counteract the isolation felt by many adoptees/foster care survivors, these “front-facing volunteer positions should be held by Indigenous people.

Intake of attendees and orientation to the Waupoos Farm gathering site.

Ensuring Elders involved with or attending the Gathering are taken care of with the necessary protocol.

  • Transporting survivors to & from airport or hotels to Waupoos Farm, 2050 Rideau Road Gathering site.
  • Transporting supplies to meetings and driving supplies to the gathering site.
  • Carpooling with other volunteers to Waupoos site and back to Ottawa

Setting up and taking down chairs and tables for workshops and panels; setting up and taking down sound systems; carrying stuff to and from the site. Keeping the space tidy throughout the event.

Assist and take direction from kitchen staff for food prep, serving food, kitchen clean-up, clearing tables and washing dishes. Must be knowledgeable and utilize safe food handling at all times.

Keeping site clean, smoking area, recreation and play areas tidy and garbage free

Assist and support the Child & Youth Coordinator with recreational activities to entertain and keep the children and youth safe, engaged and involved in all programming and activities. Experience and references required.

Make sure the site is safe, secure, no children unattended, smokers in smoking area, no children running into the bushes unattended and assist organizers with various duties.

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To cherish knowledge is to know WISDOM.

We acknowledge and value our life experiences and gifts. We will seek the counsel of elders to help us to understand and honour our experiences collectively.


To know LOVE is to know peace.

We will meet each other with understanding wherever we are on our journeys towards healing and wholeness.


To honour all of the Creation is to have RESPECT.

The safety and confidentiality of all is a sacred trust. We will follow Sharing Circle protocols to allow each other to share our experiences in a non-threatening and private way. We affirm our full support to each other regardless of our Indigenous affiliation, sexual orientation or state of being.


BRAVERY is to face the foe with integrity.

We believe that by sharing our lived histories, we can create awareness and understanding of intergenerational and vicarious trauma amongst our families and communities so that we can build healthy relationships.


HONESTY in facing a situation is to be brave.

We have lost our family connections, languages, cultures and histories and we are seeking understanding, support, recognition and reconciliation now and for future generations.


HUMILITY is to know yourself as a sacred part of the Creation.

We will take responsibility for our own self-care with the support of each other and our helpers. In healing, we honour ourselves as a sacred part of the Creation.


TRUTH is to know all of these things

With the help of these teachings and each other, we will work towards physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health for ourselves and our communities.


Adapted by the Indigenous Gathering Committee from

The Mishomis Book – The Voice of the Ojibway

By Edward Benton-Banai

Special thanks to Claudette Commanda for her review and advice