Jenny Sawanohk
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Jenny Sawanohk

“Jenny Sutherland is the reconciliation of the past, and the healing of the future for the residential school crisis whose legacy is still being felt today.”
– Pete Bernard, Algonquin Medicine Man

Occupation: Connor Homes Indigenous Treatment Program Coordinator, Founder & Visionary of Misiwe Ni Relations Healing Lodge

Personal Life:
  • Jenny was born and raised on the Muskegowuk territory of the Moose Cree First Nation.
  • As an Indigenous youth and lover of athletics she represented Aboriginal Team Canada at the International Children’s Games and represented Team Ontario at the North American Indigenous Games. She believes these experiences were wonderful for her sense of pride and holistic wellbeing, and that all children should be encouraged to play team sports, find what makes their heart happy and strongly be encouraged to follow this passion.
  • She put her focus into child and family studies and graduated with an Honours degree in Psychology at Brock University in 2004, and Masters in Social Work at the University of Toronto in 2007.
  • She moved to Ottawa in 2010 and is honoured to be residing in the unceded territory of the Algonquins.
  • As a busy mother to four, the fire within her to create a better future for her children, and the future seven generations, is always raging.
  • Manifesting art is a Soul passion and is very healing. She agrees with Louis Riel that “my people will sleep for one hundred years, but when they awake, it will be the artists who give them their spirit back.”
  • She also loves to spend time on Mother Earth in ceremony, medicine walks, spring hunts and with travelling and experiencing other cultures.
Personal and Professional Experiences
  • Jenny has experience working for many different children’s aid agencies across the province, with children’s mental health and with the Advocacy Office. She has always known that she has wanted to help create a better path for Indigenous youth and their families.
  • Jenny developed and coordinates the Indigenous Treatment Program for Connor Homes, a private residential service provider that expands across the province. She aims to ensure that treatment for their Indigenous youth in care is culturally competent. She is passionate about bringing elders and traditional healers back into the lives of Indigenous youth, reconnecting youth to the land and instilling Indigenous pride.
  • Jenny is an educator on Indigenous history and current issues such as residential schooling and intergenerational trauma. She is passionate about being an advocate and helping to bridge the gap of misunderstanding, create cultural sensitivity and provide tools in how to move forward in reconciliation.
  • Jenny was the keynote speaker on this topic at the Ontario Association of Residences Treating Youth (OARTY) conference in 2016.
  • She recently became an instructor for SafeGuards Training for Children and Adult Services, so she could offer this training to more people in the province.
  • “Due to a horrific history in this country, and current racism, Indigenous families are struggling and their youth make up nearly half the children in foster care. And yet, Indigenous children in care receive less funding than non-Indigenous children — that is a human rights violation. The leaders in this country are failing us, and thus we must all work to right this wrong. Every child deserves a chance to live at home with their family.
  • Working towards reconciliation must involve all of us. We need to stop looking the other way and begin seeing each other as interconnected, and that we all have a role to step into so we can create a better future for all children. To quote one of my favourites, “let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children.” Sitting Bull, 1876
  • Jenny was a guest speaker for the Algonquin Medicine Man for his 2016 Summer Solstice Healing Circle and fundraiser to bring awareness to the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.
  • She was a guest speaker for MoMondays in December 2016
  • Jenny also has experience working as a psychotherapist and as an energy healer. She created Misiwe Ni Relations Healing Lodge to give a platform for healers and their needed services.