We created a Journey Map in collaboration with the Community Mental Health Action Plan. We used this creative method to capture the progress and challenges of the implementation of the Action Plan. There are many details to explore on the map.
M.A.P.S. was honoured to collaborate with Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society in the co-creation of the Nitotemak Journey Map. This map illustrates the journey of a child as they enter and move through the Bent Arrow Kinship Program: NITOTEMAK.
Several cultural elements were incorporated into the map. Teepees, found along the path, signify resources and supports available to the child and family. Medicine wheels, placed atop an image, highlight sacred practices and ceremonies. Grandfather rock, which is also found along the path, symbolizes connection to our ancestors. The 7 Sacred Teachings appear as text on the arms and legs of the turtle and as animal icons on the path, near images where that quality is observed. The overall layout of the map represents Turtle Island and is a reminder of cultural identity and deep connection to the earth.
In the centre of the map we see the Awasis, where the child grows and develops in the mother’s womb and prepares to enter the world. A sunburst, representing the life force and energy of the Awasis, emanates from the family tree. The tree informs of the child’s lineage and represents the family’s deep connection to the land, with roots that reach deep into Mother Earth. The family tree also symbolizes the Sundance model, with the child and its biological parents at the centre. The middle ring includes extended family members such as grandparents, siblings of the parents, and the child’s cousins. The outer circle represents members of the community.
The bent arrow at the beginning of the path shows the direction of movement into and through the Nitotemak program. Please click the link/map below to view the full sized Nitotemak Journey Map.