Turtle Island Institute

Turtle Island Institute (TII) is an Indigenous social innovation collaborative—a think and do tank—enabling transformative change. TII seeks to establish a national community of practice of Indigenous innovators within the social innovation ecosystem in Canada and establish the first ever Indigenous Action Lab in Niagara Falls, Ontario. TII envisions this space as complementing existing programming at the sacred thundering waters (Niagara Falls). From this space, TII will deliver customized leadership and social innovation programming for Indigenous women and changemakers. The Institute focuses on training, coaching, and otherwise supporting social innovators tackle systemic and colonial barriers. Through TII’s deep engagement with social innovation organizations across Canada, it has become clear that the sector is largely inaccessible to Indigenous women and changemakers. Specifically, the superficial engagement of Indigenous wisdom within social innovation programs, and pedagogies has resulted in the marginalization of Indigenous practitioners and change-makers from the Canadian social innovation ecosystem. TII was originally incubated at the Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience and in 2019, moved its programmatic work to Tides Canada.

Grant amount: $50,000