Indigenous individuals are disproportionately affected.
When it comes to the prevention of trafficking and exploitation, there is a lack of resources available that are grounded in Indigenous culture and community. In response, Ally Global Foundation has launched a new Indigenous-led program, Makwa Dodem, aimed at equipping and empowering Indigenous communities to prevent sexual exploitation.
Makwa Dodem recognizes the critical importance that prevention initiatives be deeply rooted in Indigenous culture and community. In everything we do, we aim to foster a culture of reconciliation and justice, where the voices and leadership of Indigenous peoples are central to the fight against human trafficking.
We prioritize nurturing healthy relationships, fostering trust and empowering individuals within Indigenous communities. We believe that meaningful relationships are the foundation for change. We actively listen to community members and follow their lead in developing prevention programming and long-term support programs. All planning and implementation involves community members of all ages, fostering intergenerational connections.
Our highest priority in prevention programming is that it be community-led and guided. We work hand-in-hand with Indigenous communities as partners to co-create and implement prevention initiatives that are specific to their unique strengths and context.
Culture is a powerful tool for prevention. Our programming honours and integrates Indigenous cultural teachings, values and traditions—fostering a strong sense of identity, resilience and self-worth among youth.
Meet Jacqueline and Jaiden, the faces behind Makwa Dodem.
Traditionally, the Bear Clan is entrusted with the protection, safety and healing of the people. Makwa Dodem's connection to the Bear Clan is more than just a name—it serves as a foundation for our work.
Proudly belonging to the Bear Clan themselves, Makwa Dodem’s founders were driven by a deep desire to honor their heritage. By anchoring the work of Makwa Dodem in culture and indigeneity, we ensure that every step we take resonates with the wisdom and resilience of our ancestors.
Created by artist Simone McLeod, the Makwa Dodem artwork represents intergenerational healing and community unity.
This artwork embodies the comprehensive approach of the program, deeply rooted in Indigenous cultural teachings.
Encircling the artwork is a medicine wheel, symbolizing the holistic approach of Makwa Dodem's programming. The medicine wheel serves as a reminder that healing encompasses every aspect of one's being - spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical. It is a representation of the collective wisdom that guides the journey toward well-being.
Within the circle, five figures symbolize essential roles in the Indigenous community. The Elder, dressed in green, embodies timeless wisdom, offering guidance and nurturing the collective spirit. The Auntie, in purple, represents nurturing strength and unconditional love across generations. Depicted in blue and pink, the young boy and girl symbolize the potential of the future, holding hope and change. A baby dressed in orange serves as a tribute to the resilience of those who suffered the legacy of residential schools.
A blue bear claw fills the space above, and serves as the inspiration behind Makwa Dodem’s logo. This claw, representing makwa dodem ('bear clan') is an emblem of protection, healing, unity, and communal support.
This artwork captures the interconnectedness of generations, the healing power of culture, and the profound importance of unity in the journey toward prevention and well-being.
We understand that addressing exploitation requires not just a response to its symptoms, but a commitment to healing and addressing the historical wounds inflicted by colonization.
Our approach is trauma-informed and strengths-based, focusing on education, awareness and relationship. We are working to build prevention programming that not only raises awareness about exploitation but also addresses root causes by promoting cultural identity, healthy relationships and holistic well-being.
Have questions? Reach out to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org
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