Shining a light on Indigenous women’s issues
with Native Women’s Association of Canada
What they needed
Since 1974, NWAC has advocated for Indigenous women across Canada. They shine a light on issues ranging from human trafficking to reproductive rights to safer cannabis use. Given the breadth of what they do, their top challenge is keeping their programs and messaging consistent as they expand and respond to current events.
About the logo
Their new logo blends many cultural symbols: the guidance of Grandmother Moon, the life-bearing gift of water, the teachings of fire, the acknowledgement of the Spirits, recognition of future generations, and the cycle of nature. Reflected across from Grandmother Moon is a woman looking into the flames, which speaks to lighting a fire in the era of reconciliation.
How we help
For several years, we’ve worked with NWAC to spread their message with a consistent brand and visuals across their digital and print materials. Through it all, we help them celebrate the beauty of Indigenous art and design. We choose symbols that speak to specific communities—without alienating others. And we apply design principles, information hierarchy, and search engine optimization (SEO) to make it easy for everyone to find and use their content.
Results that reach a nation
Now, NWAC is a nationally-known name with a brand system that helps them reach more Indigenous communities. We’ve unified their visuals and created digital sites and tools that have engaged more people and helped them lobby decision-makers on a wide array of national issues.
Reporting on an unacceptable trend
Far too often, the deaths or disappearances of Indigenous women, girls, two-spirit, and gender-diverse people go unnoticed and uncounted. NWAC is leading the charge to change that. As a first step, they coordinated two years of roundtable discussions with hundreds of families across Turtle Island and Inuit Nanangat.
We helped them present their findings and recommendations in their landmark report about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
Supporting victims of gender-based violence
We designed images and videos for Restoring the Circle, e-learning that helps support 2SLGBTQIA+ Indigenous people who experience gender-based violence. The brand features two intertwined crows inspired by a traditional story and by the work of two-spirit artist Ryan Young (Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa).
“How the Winktes came to be’’ is a story, as told by Traditional Knowledge Keeper Paulie Poitras, about how the creation of Winkte (the Lakota word for 2-Spirit) society is understood through the creation story of the Tatanka (buffalo). The clip shown is a part of a video we created for the Native Women’s Association of Canada’s “Restoring the Circle” training, an e-learning program on providing trauma-informed, culturally safe, and intersectional services for, to and with 2SLGBTQ+ Indigenous people with lived experience of gender-based violence.
“Your work made the program so beautiful, thanks so much for all your creative energy and inspiring work!”
– Angela Lytle, Executive Director for Women’s Human Rights Institute
Generation 4 Equality
We teamed up with Generation 4 Equality by NWAC to create a sub-brand that would represent the fluidity of gender and the fire within to enact change. The two figures encompassing each other represent all genders across Turtle Island and the many Indigenous, two-spirit interpretations. We also created the G4E website as a platform for Indigenous youth to get information, ask questions, and connect with others who are working hard for gender equality.
Encouraging safer use of cannabis
We created the brand and images for the Culturally Safe Cannabis Education program. Their new website illustrates the parts of the plant and how cannabis affects the brain. It also has a dose calculator to help you understand how much THC or CBD is in your products.
Educating about sexual health
To help raise awareness of HIV and similar diseases, we designed a brand, fact sheets, and activity toolkit for Walking the RED Path. We also created an online hub with quick answers and a map to help people find local care centers.
Knowing your reproductive rights
To help people make informed choices about sexual and reproductive health, we designed a range of visual learning materials to illustrate options for birth control, contraception, and family planning.
Putting a stop to human trafficking
This anti-trafficking toolkit encourages communities to help prevent violence against and exploitation of Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people.
Encouraging caregivers of all sorts
Anyone can be a great parent. To encourage caregivers of all sorts, we designed materials for Indigenous Maternity Sharing Circles. The illustrations help highlight that maternal experiences are gender-diverse and not exclusive to those giving birth. Blueberries and water symbolize fertility and life.
Gathering for safety and healing
The Resiliency Lodge is a healing centre for Indigenous women, girls, and gender-diverse people to gather and share traditional teachings. Drawing on the lessons of an NWAC Elder, we designed their bear print logo, which symbolizes healing and protection. The colours reflect the calm of lavender and the hues of the spirit world. Put together, these elements speak to resiliency, healing, safety, and inclusion.