Debwendizon Indigenous Youth Education Gathering

Debwendizon Indigenous Youth Gathering

Debwendizon is our annual Indigenous Youth Education Gathering. This event will return in person this year after two years of a virtual event. In this interactive visit to Nipissing University, Indigenous youth can learn about available programs and services and have their questions answered by Indigenous university students, faculty, and Office of Indigenous Initiatives' staff. We hope that you will experience first hand why you belong at Nipissing University! 

What does "Debwendizon" mean?

In the winter of 2014, the late Muriel Sawyer named the Indigenous Youth Education Gathering at Nipissing University in Anishnaabemwin. Muriel was from Nipissing First Nation and taught Anishnaabemwin (Ojibwe language) for over 40 years. She explained that in Anishnaabemwin, Debwendizon is rooted in one of the Seven Grandfather Teachings - the teaching of Debwewin or Truth. Debwendizon means to "believe in yourself." Muriel explained that, "It's much more than education. In order to pursue an education you need to believe that you can. So, by saying debwendizon, you are commanding your spirit, and yourself to say I believe in myself."

Contact us at:  or (705) 474-3450 Ext. 4441


For more information please reach out to us at

Teri Jack

"My experience at Nipissing has been great! The small class sizes are a great learning environment, and I can approach professors whenever I need extra help. The Office of Indigenous Initiatives has given me the opportunity to learn more about my culture, be part of the mentorship program, and learn new things like drum-making and beading. The support from the staff and friends I have met in the OII has been the primary reason I have stayed in school. I am happy to call North Bay my new home."

Teri, Bachelor of Business Administration
Hometown: Attawapiskat, ON