Native Women’s Association of Canada


Website Design
Print Design
Event Design
Motion Graphics

Shining a light on Indigenous women’s issues with Native Women’s Association of Canada.

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.

“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.

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.

An internal spread of the NWAC brand guide. The left page features the primary and secondary colours for NWAC as well as the fonts they use, and the right page features the treatments of the logo on several different coloured backgrounds.

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.

A Macbook mockup of the NWAC website's water section. The site features a vision statement and a summary.
An iPhone mockup of the NWAC Mission and Vision Statement section. The site Features a colourful page with the text on an orange background with images on the top and bottom of the page.
An iPhone mockup of the Donate section for the NWAC website. The page theme is blue with white text and features the NWAC logo and the donate section with a blurb about NWAC at the bottom of the page.

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.

An internal spread of the NWAC Marine Safety booklet. The spread features an Organizational Summary as well as as introduction. There are blue water graphics along the pages. On the left page, the water graphic has an image of a lakeside within the largest shape, and on the right page there is an image of a woman standing with their feet in the water on a rocky beach.

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.

An internal spread for the NWAC report on MMIWG. The spread features several steps in the action plan to keep the issue alive and interconnect the calls for justice.
The cover for the NWAC report on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. The cover features a red wave pattern that transitions to blue, yellow, and green towards the bottom, with a white circle in the top right for the title which reads "Final Report on NWAC's National Round table on the National Inquiry Into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
An icon in a deep red circle. The icon is of a red dress, which is the symbol for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and their families.
An icon in a blue circle. The icon is of a pair of fur lined moccasins with beadwork flowers on the top of the foot.
An icon in a blue circle. The icon is of a pair of fur lined moccasins with beadwork flowers on the top of the foot.
An icon in a dark blue circle. The icon is of a hand drum and drumstick. The drum has a butterfly on it and 3 tassels coming off of the bottom.
An icon in an orange circle of two Indigenous people holding hands. The person on the left is wearing a red long sleeve shirt with two teal stripes at the bottom, and the person on the right is wearing two bracelets, one of which is a large blue bracelet with gold flecks, and the other is a light blue bracelet made of beads.
An icon in a dark blue circle. The icon features an indigenous woman with two long braids on either side of their head. Her face is blank but features a red handprint over where her mouth would be.

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).

An iPad mockup of the Restoring the Circle course's first module titled 1.1 - Frameworks. The module features a welcome blurb about the course, which aims to provide trauma-informed, culturally humble, and intersectional services for, to, and with 2SLGBTQ+ Indigenous people with lived experience of gender-based violence.
An iPad mockup of a Cultural Safety Continuum graphic. The graphic features a person walking along a path dotted with trees. Each tree represents some statements from programs that are not culturally safe in red and yellow trees that turn to inclusive trees including phrases like 'What's the problem? Our program treats everyone the same!' and later down the line, 'It's great that we can refer so many Indigenous clients to the Healing Space!'

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.

A macbook mockup of the Generation 4 Equality website. The title reads 'Generation 4 Equality', and the subtitle reads 'Youth Engagement Project'. Next to the titles there is an orange image of a hummingbird. Below this section, the title reads 'Doing what I can to make a difference'.
An i-phone mockup of the Generation 4 Equality website. The title reads "Traditional Understandings of Gender Diversity" There is an icon on the page with one orange person and one blue person extending their arms towards each other, and underneath the icon there is a blurb about Gender diversity and equality in First Nations cultures.

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.

An iPad mockup of the NWAC Cannabinoid Dose Calculator. The calculator features options for THC or CBD, including a percentage or total THC in milligrams, amount used in grams or millilitres, and an option for how much coconut oil/butter/olive oil.
A macbook mockup of the NWAC Culturally Safe Cannabis Education homepage. The page features a calculator with a cannabis leaf underneath it, and a blurb about the goals of the Culturally Safe Cannabis Education initiative.
An icon of a cannabis plant being trimmed at the stem. There are an orange pair of scissors trimming the plant with a number 1 in the bottom right section near the plant.
An icon of a cannabis plant drying. The plant is hung upside down and tied together at the stem with 4 large leaves and one small leaf on the plant. There is a number 2 in the bottom right section next to the plant, and the icon is in a cream coloured circle.
An icon of a jar of cannabis with the number 3 in the top right section of the jar. The jar is an orange outline, and the icon is in a cream coloured circle.
An icon of a Calendar with a 4 on its top left side. The calendar is outlined in green with green, orange, and pale yellow squares for dates. The icon is within a very pale yellow circle.

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.

An internal spread of the NWAC Walking the Red Path HIV/HCV Initiative. The spread features information about NWAC and the initiative on the left spread, and an illustration of several women holding hands on the right spread with a title that reads 'Our bodies, our minds, our power.'
An ipad mockup of the main page for the NWAC Culturally Safe and Trauma Informed Knowledge Hub. The page features "welcome" in several different native languages and has a small blurb welcoming you to the hub.
An iphone mockup of the NWAC Culturally Safe and Trauma-Informed Knowledge Hub. The site features the Services and Supports Near You page with a map that is searchable by location to find your nearest support.

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.

A poster detailing each type of birth control and how they affect the person using them. There are sections for what each item is, how often it is used, potential side effects, whether it is covered by healthcare, and if it changes the likelihood of an STI.
The cover for the Know Your Rights booklet by NWAC. The cover is in french and reads "Know your rights: Sexual and Reproductive Health - a Toolkit." and features three women standing together. One of the women has a child strapped to her back, the centre person is standing proudly, and the person on the right is pregnant.

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.

The cover for the Safe Passage Anti-Trafficking Toolkit booklet by NWAC. The cover features a blue to yellow gradient bottom section with line illustrations of rocks, shells, waves, a feather, wind, and fire, and the top section contains the title and the NWAC logo.
An internal spread of the Safe Passage Anti-Trafficking Toolkit booklet. The spread features an welcome page with a graphic of a river coming down the centre of the page. The spread then explains the 6 sections of the booklet.

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.

An interior spread of the NWAC Resiliency Lodge booklet. The spread features a photo of the inside of the lodge, with a blue curved couch, a cream coloured loveseat, and a small table with two white chairs around it. The right spread reads "Four Overarching Components - 1 - elder-led healing."
The cover for a NWAC resiliency lodge booklet. The cover features a photo of the resiliency lodge, which has horizontal wood panelling on the walls, a large, bright window with a large dreamcatcher in it, a cream coloured, comfy looking couch, and two wooden rocking chairs. The bottom section of the book features a wavy detail with an image of indigenous art within one of the shapes, and a drum within another shape, leading to the resiliency lodge logo in the bottom right corner.

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