Meet 1JustCity’s Indigenous Cultural Programmer: Vicki Catagas

By 1JustCity Citizen
July 12, 2018
Vicki Catagas is our Indigenous Cultural Programmer. Her maternal instinct as a caregiver and her role as a traditional Indigenous knowledge keeper allows her genuine open-minded spirit to welcome all people to better understand Indigenous ways of being and Indigenous ways of knowing at 1JustCity. Through the Indigenous Cultural Programming Drop-in at 1JustCity, Vicki, uses traditional settler and non-settler approaches in an effort to reach a wide audience and maintain active engagement for all learners.
 
“It is so important to make sure people are engaged and not just getting too much information, but making meaning out of what they learn. Which is why I use activity cue cards that covers not just Indigenous ways of being, but also current information about governance and our relationship with the (Canadian) government. You’d be surprised, but so many people just simply don’t know or weren’t shown or taught traditional Indigenous ways of being, structures of government, and the importance of the truth and reconciliations commitment to the 94 calls to action and its impact.”
 
Vicki is invested in her role as the Indigenous cultural programmer and comes to 1JustCity with over a decade of experience from the Winnipeg School Division as the Aboriginal community programmer for her dedication to implementing meaningful traditional practices for young learners in Winnipeg’s public school system.
 
A mere 15 years ago, Vicki found herself lost and looking to reconnect with her culture, the language, and she too was seeking a better understanding of the land, and a better understanding of indigenous ways of being. Thanks to the community resources and programming at St Matthews Maryland, Vicki too was able to reconnect. Vicki is happy to be home with 1JustCity, to continue helping to make a difference in the lives of many who find themselves lost or needing to reconnect.
 
“I simply want to help people know and learn. So many people simply don’t know and it can be heartbreaking to see”.
 
Being a child of the 60’s scoop and having immediate family impacted by the residential school system, Vicki’s journey is still ongoing, yet, she finds a home in the St Matthews Maryland community and credits 1JustCity as an integral part of her healing journey.
 
Vicki considers herself a traditional knowledge keeper and is greatly looking forward to her time with 1JustCity. She encourages anyone interested in learning more about Indigenous culture to participate in her programming. All people from all walks of life are welcome to participate—Indigenous and non-Indigenous, settler or non-settler.
 
“It is especially important for all of us to be part of this conversation together.”



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