Originally formulated as a working-group in support of the Indigenous Achievement strategic planning process, Gaa wii ji'i diyaang is comprised of Indigenous and non-Indigenous faculty, staff and students walking with and advocating for Indigenous Achievement at the University of Manitoba. The Anishinaabe name Gaa wii ji'i diyaang (walking together, helping each other) was gifted to the strategic planning working group by Elder Margaret Lavallee at a naming ceremony that took place in the Circle Room at William Norrie Centre, November 12, 2015. Current membership includes 20 representatives across multiple faculties and departments at the Fort Garry, Bannatyne and Selkirk campuses. A long term goal for the council is to expand membership to include all interested faculty, students and staff at the University of Manitoba, as well as alumni and community partners.
The Gaa wii ji'i diyaang Council approved its vision and mission statements at a meeting, December 9, 2015.
Vision Statement (Dec 9, 2015)
Through purposeful action towards reconciliation, Gaa wii ji'i diyaang affirms the reclamation of Indigenous identities, values and traditions and nurtures the spirits, hearts, bodies and minds of Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.
Mission Statement (Dec 9, 2015)
Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples walking together and helping each other to create a just UM community through relationship building, education, advocacy and action in support of Indigenous Achievement.
Gaa wii ji'i diyaang Council Members:
Alescha Anderson, Inner City Social Work student
Brian Barth, Office of Human Rights and Conflict Managament
Brooke Bunn, HR Client Services
Belinda Blair, NSGSA Co-President
Michelle Carriere, Engineering Access Program
Debra Diubaldo, Inner City Social Work Program
Abby Edgar, Access and Aboriginal Focus Programs
Maureen Flaherty, Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice
Jackie Gruber, Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management
Joannie Halas (Co-chair), Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management
Bonnie Hallman, Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources
Carla Kirkpatrick, Inner City Social Work student
Derek Kornelson, Community Health Science
Naithan Lagace, NSGSA, Co-President
Brenda Lafreniere (Co-chair), ACCESS and Aboriginal Focus Programs
Heather McRae, Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management
Eveline Milliken, Inner City Social Work Program
Trevor Phillips, Indigenous Graduate Student Success Coordinator
Peter Pomart, IH Asper School of Business, IBEP
Cathy Rocke, Faculty of Social Work
Ruth Shead, Office of Indigenous Achievement
Maya Simpson, Aboriginal Nursing Cohort Initiative
Carl Stone, Indigenous Student Centre
Chris Trott, St. John’s College and the Department of Native Studies
Valerie Williams, HR, Learning and Organizational Development
Andrew Wolford, Department of Sociology