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Wîwîp’son: The Meaning

and Significance of the Name

In 2019, Indigenous psychologist and Ph.D. candidate, Gwendolyn Villebrun, with the support and guidance of Kookum Ruth Cardinal de Ubiera, developed a group specifically for Indigenous women to heal from sexual trauma.

In the naming of the program, Kookum Ruth was greeted by the Grandmother Spirit, who gifted her with the name Wîwîp’son.

Wîwîp’son, or Iwip’son, is a Nêhiyawêwin (Cree) word for a traditional swing for children, used by many Indigenous families. 

In the context of this therapeutic group, Wîwîp’son symbolizes how Indigenous women need to be nurtured in a safe environment to support their healing from sexual trauma. 

Dr. Darlene Auger (Pîtâpan or The Swing Lady) has dedicated much of her life to working with the sacred wîwîp’son, developing and offering Indigenous Swing Nurturing Therapy in amiskwaciwâskahikan and beyond. Following proper protocol, Dr. Auger graciously provided her permission for SACE to use the name, and Wîwîp’son Healing from Sexual Trauma Circle for Indigenous Women was born.

SACE is committed to developing tailored programming to better serve Indigenous communities. If you would like to support our efforts to build Indigenous programming at SACE, please consider donating to SACE and let us know that you want to support this initiative with your donation. 

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