Welcoming wheat

Creating a Place for Everyone

PowHERhouse is thrilled to announce a new impact initiative with WHEAT, an ally organization known as Winnipeg (Winipīhk) Holistic Expressive Arts Therapy Institute teaching students how to listen in colour through their expressive arts certificate and arts therapy diploma programs. Our relationship signals a new beginning for WHEAT as they welcome in a phase of restructuring to a non-profit model and continue to learn and unlearn, expand and grow their role as a therapeutic arts ally in the community from a place of humility, acknowledgement and deep celebration. 

WHEAT is dedicated to an inside out approach to healing and growth, and we are honoured to walk beside them with hands at their back during their restructuring and commitment to being an ally in right-relationship during this time of reconciliation. Our work together is one of repair, renewal, and regeneration while fostering a culture of care.

Tina

"I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to get to know the entire team of WHEAT, Manitoba’s only therapeutic arts training centre, and currently Turtle Island’s only Art Therapy school to provide Indigenous language courses within its programs. We see WHEAT as a sister organization to PowHERhouse as they continue to be forward focused while remaining humble to the past, doing their best to meet the needs of their community as an ally and a bridge, always acknowledging the land on which their Institute resides, and their place in history. WHEAT is a team of humble leaders, committed to walking a path of relational ways of being. We are thrilled to be walking beside them."

~ Tina Overbury, PowHERhouse Managing Director

In some Indigenous cultures, change can be marked by ceremony so that negative energies can be cleared and parties can continue forward with a feeling of hands at their back and healing in their hearts. As a bridge organization, PowHERhouse offers a walk beside approach and process, holding space for regeneration. Our team of mixed leaders from multiple ancestral backgrounds leans into the Indigenous wisdom of Turtle Island which is matriarchal and matrilineal in nature. We do our best to champion relational changemaking for a more integrated, interconnected and intentional world rooted in whole leadership. 

 

We invite you to get to know WHEAT as we are. They are committed to their own relational changemaking path, and this transition to a non-profit organization is part of their journey.

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Timing, vision, action! WHEAT began weaving the colourful threads of creativity and compassion, with sought after local and international instructors, at a time when art and expressive arts therapy training was only a dream on the central Canadian prairies. Honouring Indigenous voices on Treaty 1 Territory, and welcoming the diversity of our territory and beyond, has created a dynamic tapestry, aligning student therapists with community partners to foster healing and hope through the arts. Building bridges of peace and possibility in communities from the Great Bear Rain Forest in Bella Coola, BC to Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador on the Atlantic Coast and now crossing the Atlantic to Nairobi, Kenya, Africa, we join in community to create space for everyone to experience the therapeutic power of the arts. Join us as we are learning to listen in colour.

~ Darci Adam, Founder, WHEAT Institute

As a social impact organization and a strengths-focused centre, both PowHERhouse and WHEAT are allies walking the path of truth and reconciliation for all our relations. This current transition and collaboration hopes to reflect and bring forth healing, empathy, inclusivity, listening-focused circles, and relational, open, arts-enhanced communication - the founding values of WHEAT that remain solid and unwavering. 

Meet the Collaborators:

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WHEAT operates on Treaty 1 Territory in Manitoba as the only therapeutic arts training centre on the central Canadian prairies. Their approach to education is holistic, as it incorporates deep connections with nature, people of diverse cultures and geographical origins, and respect for Indigenous Ways of Knowing into its settings, philosophies and curriculum. WHEAT Institute provides holistic diploma and certificate programs in expressive arts and art therapy through a Western clinical lens, as well as a focused anti-racist, anti-oppressive practice lens. Students come from a variety of backgrounds related to healing, helping, and the arts, and through WHEAT's programs, go on to help people of all ages and abilities to live with self-awareness, interconnectedness, and creativity. The WHEAT Online Wellness Centre serves as a practicum site for WHEAT students to provide low to no-cost arts therapies to the public, with a focus on amplifying creativity and self-awareness, building self-esteem, relaxing and coming into the present moment to enhance client wellness. Through WHEAT's programs, students learn how the universal language of art allows healing, growth and justice to emerge from even the smallest brushstrokes, movements and words.

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PowHERhouse champions the changework of relational leaders and social impactors. We are a community of practice, story-platform and a constellation network for social impacters who are walking a path of relational leadership for future generations. Everything we do is guided by ancestral and Indigenous wisdom which, more often than not, is Matriarchal and Matrilineal in nature. This is where the HER comes from in our name. PowHERhouse personal and professional development paths are offered with a decolonized and relational leadership approach that amplifies and accelerates the changework of relational leaders for a more integrated, interconnected and intentional world.

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Stephanie Scott

Registrar, Outreach and Practicum Coordinator

"Belonging. Becoming. Blossoming.

Reflecting. Collecting. Healing.
Learning. Growing. Practicing.
I have found myself.”
 
Those were the words that resonated with me last year when I first met our new cohort of Art and Expressive Arts Therapy students. I was so deeply honoured to gather and share space online, and even more grateful that I continue to be a small part of their learning and healing journeys with WHEAT. For more than six years I have witnessed the power of the arts in personal and community wellness, peacemaking, and reconciliation. I am excited to share this journey with PowHERhouse and look forward to welcoming new students into our WHEAT community!
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Dianne Shannon 

Art Therapy Program Director

Our past, present, and future paths connect us with self and other through the communities we identify with and belong to.  Working as a registered art therapist for over 10 years has brought into clear focus the importance of strong, healthy communities for people to experience holistic well-being.  I feel fortunate to be walking along with WHEAT and PowHerhouse during the transformative process of becoming a non-profit while amplifying contributions for social justice and reconciliation. The opportunities for growth and insights through the leadership and wisdom of community board members will inform and enrich WHEAT offerings for art and expressive arts therapy students who will go on to do so much good in the world.    

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Lindsay Ashmore

Expressive Arts Therapy Program Director and Indigenous Community Outreach

Coming home to our bodies and centering ourselves back into the core of who we are and where we come from brings us into alignment with all creation, allowing us to see life in all its vibrancy. Engaging the senses and collaborating with our innate curiosity is essential in order to restore well-being, heal, and learn on personal, interpersonal, and collective levels. By using a body-centered approach that integrates expressive arts modalities and the creative process, one’s lived experience can be accessed to explore challenges and opportunities and generate resources in the navigation of change, transition, and growth! 

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Bonface Beti

International Expressive Arts Director

Until very recently, no one directly applied expressive arts therapies to structural transformation nor on the enduring quest to unravel difficult social justice questions in our world. In wake of global upheavals and hatred, the rise in the application of decolonial, anti-oppressive and anti-racist lenses in the use of creative art therapies has opened up new frontiers. Cycles of violence within communities and nations are often sustained by different types of traumatic experiences and power imbalances inherent in gender, race, or class. This has called for a political shift toward adopting more creative responses to transform the conflict.  Creating a new container with political offerings that make it possible to creatively respond to conflict, is an invitation to all including; drama therapists, dance therapists, somatic/embodiment healers, and ritualists among others. The aim is to transcend and break cycles of violence, heal trauma and nurture new emergent relational peace deeply rooted in voices of resurgent, cultural, embodied, and creative peace. This is my call to this new role at WHEAT.

Here’s How You Can Support This Initiative:

As we shared above, this walk-beside approach and process that powHERhouse offers, is in ways, similar to a ceremony as we welcome in relational ways of being during challenging times of rupture, repair, renewal and regeneration. We invite you to offer your hands of support where it feels right and let us know if you’d like to stay in the loop as this story of new beginnings continues to unfold over the coming months.

  • Follow each of the collaborators on our social channels and watch the story unfold through truth based communication:
  • Amplify this impact initiative and share it with friends, family, and colleagues that would be interested in supporting.
  • Express your interest below to be sure you’re included in all future communications related to this initiative. (this information will be shared with WHEAT)
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WHEAT is dedicated to an inside out approach to healing and growth, and we are honoured to walk beside them with hands at their back during their restructuring and commitment to being an ally in right-relationship during this time of reconciliation. Our work together is one of repair, renewal, and regeneration while fostering a culture of care.