The Community Relations and Solidarity Department (CRS) focuses on building and maintaining healthy relationships within the IYR community.

Our vision is to provide programs that harvest connections by creating valuable opportunities for skills development, connection and growth to cultivate future leaders who are empowered and inspired.

We provide dynamic programming that generates collaborative discussions and supportive community initiatives. CRS elevates community voices using a multi-tiered approach that brings together the diversity of Indigenous voices from coast to coast to coast in all that we do, centering the perspectives of those who are most historically underrepresented.

We amplify and collaborate with community-led and grassroots initiatives and nurture reciprocal relationships with Knowledge and Language Keepers. Our programs and initiatives are guided by the consultation of a youth-led Community Advisory Circle. Our initiatives are dedicated to building more supportive and safer spaces for Two-Spirit and other LGBTQAI+ youth, providing opportunities for dialogue and connection with global Indigenous peoples.   

Our department houses two teams: 

For More Information

Acting Director, Community Relations and Solidarity Department

Core Program- In Motion

In Motion is based on relationality,  how we connect to “all our relations” and the moving pieces of the relationships we hold with all living things. We tend to all that surrounds us, with care, love and understanding. We learn to see each other and all living things as having a story — one that is deeper and connects us to a web of ancestral histories and future paths. Our teachings also remind us of the cycles of change and always being in constant movement. To be “in motion” is to understand that our actions influence the world around us, seven generations back and seven generations forward.  

The In Motion program was created for Indigenous, Black and People of Colour youth between the ages of 18-29. The program strives include participants from coast to coast to coast through its different phases. The cohort-based approach allows for the program to be implemented in different cities and communities throughout the roll-out of the program, and to focus our efforts on connecting with diverse groups of youth that hold dynamic experiences in varying communities across the country. 

Phases Include:

  • Phase 0 – Orientation (intro to IYR and In Motion) – Sowing the Soil

  • Phase 1 – Building Self and Spirit (on the Land) – Planting the Seed

  • Phase 2 – Building Solidarity (Skills and Development Workshop Series) – Tending our Roots

  • Phase 3 – Program Conference & Community Fair (Building your Community Networks) – Budding

  • Phase 4 – Continuing the Journey (Opportunity Landscape) – Tending the Fruits & Flowers

Community Relations and Solidarity Department Initiatives

  • Closed

    This initiative is aimed at non-Indigenous settlers of colour and engages participants in concrete discussions related to a variety of themes such as connecting to homelands, the nuanced experiences and responsibilities of settlers of colour, and the history of colonization and anti-Blackness in Canada.

  • Closed

    The Black and Indigenous Solidarity (BIS) Program facilitates spaces between Black, Indigenous, and Afro-Indigenous youth for identifying necessities, roadblocks, and opportunities for solidarity. The program explores the history, oppression, and pathways to liberation of Black and Indigenous communities. Applications for the BIS program are currently closed. Stay tuned for program updates as our Black History Month panel will take place at 6pm on Thursday, February 15th. Please see the link below to register.

  • Closed

    The Words in Motion program provides spaces for youth between 18-29 to reconnect to their traditional languages in an online virtual format. Young language speakers can facilitate an introduction in their Indigenous language to youth peers, creating leadership skills, community building and interaction, and developing their capacity for peer mentorship.

  • Closed

    In a Two Spirit-led environment structured around acceptance and lateral kindness, participants have the opportunity to complete guided, yet customizable short crafting projects in a live workshop setting.

  • Closed

    Grounded Communities engages youth leaders (ages 18-29) from across the country, building a national network of youth working to realize their own visions of reconciliation, community building, and solidarity between BIPOC folks.

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    The Seeds in Motion program provides spaces for youth between 18-29 to learn about culture, grow a community, and explore traditional crafting. It focuses on teachings about plants, medicines, seed saving, and harvesting, hunting practices, lunar cycles, and storytelling. It aims to nurture a space for youth across nations to learn, grow, and connect with one another — in motion.

  • Closed

    This space was designed for youth to explore Two Spirit cultures and histories from futurist, peer-led perspectives, where they could learn beginner skills in a patient environment and make their very own regalia.