Knowledge Keeper

The Indigenous Knowledge Keeper plays a crucial role in providing cultural guidance and support across all program areas at MACY. With offices in three locations, their contributions extend to delivering cultural supports to the youth and families we serve. An integral part of their responsibilities is co-chairing the ReconciliACTION Committee alongside the Indigenous Deputy Advocate, as well as facilitating the implementation of MACY’s ReconciliACTION Framework.

The Knowledge Keeper at MACY brings a wealth of traditional Indigenous knowledge to our office. Their diverse range of roles includes opening and closing meetings and events with prayers, engaging with staff and young people to support the work of the office, facilitating land-based ceremonies and teachings, and fostering relationships with various communities and organizations. They also play an active role in collaborating with organizations to secure guest speakers for MACY’s ReconciliACTION initiatives. Additionally, they represent the office at numerous community events, reinforcing our commitment to community engagement.

In addition to their extensive involvement with the Elders Council and the cultural activities provided to staff and YAAS members, the Knowledge Keeper provides teachings through the organization of solstice ceremonies and feasts for both staff and the Youth Ambassador Advisory Squad. These events serve as powerful opportunities for cultural exchange and understanding within MACY.

The presence of the Knowledge Keeper has allowed MACY to foster a culturally inclusive environment embodying the principles of reconciliation and to promote a profound understanding of Indigenous knowledge and traditions. Their contributions are instrumental in strengthening the organization’s commitment to cultural responsiveness and nurturing meaningful relationships with Indigenous communities.

Meet MACY’s Knowledge Keeper

Janel Fiddler is a proud 2 Spirit Red River Métis from Selkirk Manitoba. Their spirit names are Little Thunderbird & Sparkling Mist Rainbow Woman, and they are a member of the Wolf Clan. They have also has been gifted with spirit colours which they wear with pride at ceremonies on their ribbon skirts and shirts. Janel will be pledging for their first year of the 2 Spirit Sun Dance in Portage La Prairie in summer 2024. They graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor of Social Work and are a registered member with the College of Social Workers in Manitoba.

Janel takes pride in being mentored by their Elders when learning about cultural identity, teachings, and ceremony protocols. They have a strong passion for working with our Indigenous populations, specializing in supporting children, youth, and young families; however, they have worked with many diverse populations. Janel is a strong advocate when it comes to working with 2SLGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities. They look forward to providing a “Two Eyed Seeing” approach to all areas of practice by combining clinical support with spirituality support to MACY children, youth, and staff, while focusing on traditional holistic ways of healing.