Adaawewigamig was formed by young people who came together during the winter of Idle No More. They are Indigenous youth from various nations whose roots come from various territories.
They saw the importance of a national Indigenous youth voice and platform and believed that the assembly and unity of youth from across Turtle Island would contribute to their success and healing today and for the next seven generations.
Adaawewigamig has been actively working as A7G since 2014. Assembly of Seven Generations (A7G) is an Indigenous-owned and youth-led, non-profit organization focused on cultural support and empowerment programs/policies for Indigenous youth while being led by traditional knowledge and Elder guidance.
They were incorporated as a national non-profit organization in 2015, and their work continues to expand as their networks and capacity grow with the needs and aspirations of Indigenous youth.
Beginning As A Place Of Trade.
Adaawewigamig means place of trade/selling in Anishinaabemowin. They began operations on June 19th, 2022, during the Summer Solstice Block Party they hosted in the Byward Market alongside Indigenous Experiences.
Their storefront is an Indigenous-owned and operated social enterprise that aims to support the ongoing community, land-based, and advocacy work of the Assembly of Seven Generations. Each item you purchase goes back to supporting Indigenous artists, businesses, and youth.
They currently have products from Kokum Scrunchies, Beam Paints, Native Love Notes, The Rez Life, Anishinaabebimishimo, Piujutit, Helen Peltier, Kaapittiaq, as well as A7G Merch.
In addition, they host various workshops in the community space open to Indigenous youth. For example, they have hosted jewelry-making, ribbon skirt-making, medicine pouch-making, and painting workshops.
They extend their support anytime when concern regarding Indigenous or BIPOC issues or anything regarding the government or the city arises. They also function as a space that offers a connection back to the community to Indigenous youth who come to Ottawa for opportunities like school or moving off their reserves, irrespective of their communities.
Adaawewigamig’s work has always emphasized community service, and the majority of revenues always go back to A7G and the young.
Their store is full of high-quality items, many of which are made by A7G youth. These products include an incredible amount of beadwork from various artists, including earrings whose proceeds benefit Families of Sisters in Spirit, soap clothing, mittens made in Attawapiskat, birch boxes, moccasins, visual art, and much more.
They adapted to include more helpers to support their work during the COVID-19 pandemic. These volunteers are dedicated to assisting A7G and take on specific duties and responsibilities supporting programs and initiatives that benefit the organization. They are committed to promoting A7G through a grassroots approach and are chosen by other team members based on their initiative and involvement with A7G.
Initiator of Indigenous Growth
Gabrielle Fayant-Lewis is a young Métis woman with origins in Fishing Lake Metis Settlement, Alberta. She is an award-winning woman for her community work, dedication to supporting young people, and amplifying grassroots efforts.
Gabrielle is passionate about cultural resurgence, revitalization, and restitution for all Indigenous peoples. She has worked with several Indigenous and non-profit organizations.
Gabrielle is a co-founder of Assembly of Seven Generations (A7G), a national, non-profit Indigenous youth organization legally formed in September 2015 with a full board and bylaws. Their first initiative, ReachUp! North, was developed in collaboration with the Digital Opportunity Trust.
She is also the co-founder of Youth for Northern Communities, a grassroots youth initiative that raises funds for issues such as the Attawapiskat housing crisis in the winter of 2011–12, Have a Heart for First Nation Children Day, and the Joining Hands for Our Communities Gala, which raised $10,000 for the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society.
Gabrielle has worked for various Aboriginal organizations like the National Association of Friendship Centers, the Native Women’s Association of Canada, the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, the First Nations Information and Governance Centre, and the Wabano Health Centre.
She has gained experience by taking on duties with several local, regional, and national advisory committees and councils, like the Canadian Commission of UNESCO’s Youth Advisory Group, the YWCA Youth Act Up Advisory Committee, Ottawa’s Urban Aboriginal Strategy Education Advisory Committee, the City of Ottawa Grant Committees, and the Ontario Indigenous Youth Partnership Project.
She is also a host, writer, access producer, and co-editor for a TV show called Noongom, airing on Bell Fibe TV. In addition, she was the interim co-host for The Michif Hour on CKCU and has appeared on CKCU, CHUO, CBC All in a Day, APTN, and OMNI.
She is the recipient of the 2015 Metis Youth Inspire Award and was nominated for the Samara Everyday Political Citizen Award.
Adaawewigamig is a place of sale or trade-in Algonquin territory and a social enterprise storefront to support the work of the Assembly of Seven Generations. To learn more about them, visit their website at http://www.a7g.ca/.
The Indigenous community’s members have significantly contributed to the community’s growth and development. To read more about these topics, subscribe to Indigenous SME Business Magazine and for the latest updates, check our Twitter page @IndigenousSme.