Yellowknife Women's Society pilots on-the-land camp for vulnerable women

A new healing camp for vulnerable women — some experiencing homelessness — is in the works in the N.W.T.

The camp will take place in Fort Smith for 16 women, some of whom are experiencing homelessness

Bree Denning, the executive director of the Yellowknife Women's Society, says that she hopes the on-the-land camp will be the start of a healing journey for some of the society's clients. (Richard Gleeson/CBC)

A new healing camp for vulnerable women — some experiencing homelessness — is in the works in the N.W.T.

The Yellowknife Women's Society is organizing a three day, two night camp at the Salt River Métis Elders Village in Fort Smith, beginning on January 13.

"Every woman that comes to need our services, experiencing homelessness and poverty in Yellowknife, generally does have some sort of trauma," said Bree Denning, the society's executive director. "And so we definitely see the need for [the camp].

"Accessing those services for our women is very, very difficult. So we thought that the best way to do that for the women... would be to build it ourselves."

Sixteen women are expected to take part in the camp. Some are homeless, while others access the society's services. The camp will include activities like art therapy and a sharing circle.

It's being facilitated by Shannon Moroney, an author, speaker and trauma counsellor based in Toronto. According to her website, Moroney's "F-Word: Exploring Foregiveness" workshops are "programs for people and communities who are ready to move forward and transform trauma and conflict into peace and a positive future."

The women's society received $60,000 in funding from the NWT On the Land Collaborative organization to run the camp, which Denning says she hopes will be the first step in a longer journey for the participants.

"I'm hoping that it does provide a bit of hope that healing is possible," she said. "And an interest in continuing onward to do more healing and more of that kind of work."


  • A previous version of this story incorrectly stated Tides Canada provided a $60,000 grant for the project. In fact, the grant was provided by the NWT On the Land Collaborative, of which Tides Canada is involved with.
    Jan 07, 2019 11:44 AM CT

With files from Gabriela Panza-Beltrandi