May 2018 Event: Wellness on the Land – land-based approaches for healing and learning

Date: Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Time: 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
Price: Free!
Location: Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre Auditorium
Please note: No food or drink (other than water) is allowed in the auditorium

Land-based approaches for wellness, healing and learning have long been an integral part of Indigenous ways of life, and are now gaining recognition from many people and many cultures around the world who appreciate the value of disconnecting from the fast-paced world and reconnecting with nature. In the Northwest Territories, Indigenous governments and public governments at the territorial and federal level have all recognized the importance of land-based programming as a basis for healthy people and communities.

Join us for a free panel discussion facilitated by Kyla Kakfwi-Scott, Senior Advisor with the Indigenous Health and Community Wellness division of the territorial Department of Health and Social Services, focusing on two leading-edge land-based initiatives. The event will include presentations and discussions with Donald Prince, Executive Director and CEO of the Arctic Indigenous Wellness Foundation that recently won a $1 million Arctic Inspiration Prize to develop an Indigenous wellness camp in Yellowknife, and Chloe Dragon Smith, an advocate for the social and cultural benefits of the natural world who led the development of the Nature Playbook and is currently running the Bushkids program in Yellowknife.

Learn about the importance of on-the-land approaches to healing and learning and how governments and individuals and public servants can support them and integrate the principles of on-the-land approaches into our work and personal lives.

Please feel free to submit questions to the panel in advance. Write to us at

Discussion topics:

On-The-Land Healing and Wellness: Arctic Indigenous Wellness Foundation

Donald Prince: Executive Director/CEO, Arctic Indigenous Wellness Foundation
The Arctic Indigenous Wellness Foundation (AIWF) is a self-determined traditional wellness initiative with the mandate of culturally reviving traditional and Indigenous-based healing services and practices in the north. AIWF offers cultural programming and advocacy with a focus on indigenous health and wellness.

The presentation will examine what are on-the-land programs and why they are needed, why on the land programs work, and how we can move forward from healing to healthy communities.

Bio: Donald has been working in the mental health and addictions field for over 24 years. He is Dakelh from British Columbia, a Dene people. Donald grew up in the bush, and has lived a traditional way of life, including hunting, fishing, living off the land. Through Donald’s teachings and personal development, he has expanded his work to include many types of cultural teachings. He uses traditional healing and medicines in his own health and wellness and has shared that with others.

Arctic Indigenous Wellness Foundation Links:


Chloe Dragon Smith: contractor/instructor at Bushkids

Bushkids is northern model of a forest and nature school. Forest and nature school is often claimed to have begun in Scandinavia in the 50s, but as many northerners know – northern people have been educating on the land for many thousands of years. Bushkids is in its early stages, but the goal is for it to evolve into a widespread, publicly available, and culturally relevant program in the north. Right now, the Bushkids pilot session for ages 6-10 is run through the City of Yellowknife, one day a week in the forest behind the Fieldhouse. Wendy Lahey and Chloe Dragon Smith are the co-facilitators that are running the program. They are committed to seeing the program grow and expand into the public system in the coming years.

Bio: Chloe Dragon Smith was born and raised in the NWT. Though she has spent most of her time in Yellowknife, her family has Chipewyan-Metis roots in the South Slave region. She has a B.Sc in Earth Science from the University of Victoria, but has spent the last few years focusing her work on intersections between the scientific and socio-cultural benefits of the land. Chloe was the lead author for The Nature Playbook and sat on the National Advisory Panel for The Pathway to Canada Target 1 ( She has been involved in many projects on a national scale, but her passion remains grounded here in the north, where she is currently working alongside Wendy Lahey to establish a forest and nature school program.



Kyla Kakfwi-Scott

Bio: Kyla is a member of the K’ásho Got’ı̨nę First Nation, originally from Rádelı̨hkǫ́ (Fort Good Hope), NWT. She is Senior Advisor, Anti-Poverty with the GNWT Department of Health and Social Services. Kyla is a founding member of Dene Nahjo, a trustee for the Arctic Inspiration Prize Charitable Trust, and a member of the administrative team for the NWT On The Land Collaborative. She was a fellow in the first cohort of the Jane Glassco Northern Fellowship.

Website: NWT On The Land Collaborative

Price: This event is FREE for members and non-members alike! All members of the public are welcome to attend.

Please note: No food or drink (other than water) is allowed in the auditorium.

Social Media: Stay connected with IPAC-NWT – Like us on our Facebook Page! We also invite our audience to join the conversation on Twitter. Follow us at @IPAC_NWT and use the hashtag #IPACNWT to join in the conversation.

For registration assistance, please contact us. For information about IPAC or to join our mailing list, visit our website.
Become a member of IPAC today! Already a member? Please consider inviting a friend.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s