Groundwater is an initiative of the Kutenai Art Therapy Institute (KATI) to advocate for Indigenous-centered art therapy education while committing to ongoing processes of decolonization and reconciliation.

Groundwater recognizes the role of creativity and art in Indigenous approaches to healing, the ongoing traumatic and intergenerational impacts of colonialism, and the therapeutic value of our connections with the natural world. We celebrate the richness and potency that can arise in collaboration between the field of expressive arts therapy and Indigenous knowledge, worldviews and practices.

As an educational institution, KATI is committed to upholding the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Calls to Action as outlined by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

Indigenous-centered Art Therapy Education

Groundwater will provide more opportunities for Indigenous-centered art therapy education, and will support the furthered development of Indigenous-centered art therapy supervision and Indigenous-centered art therapy services.

In June 2018, we will be launching the Groundwater Immersive – a three-week, Indigenous-centered, experiential training in art therapy. This experience is available as a stand-alone experience, as well as serving as the first three weeks of Rhizome Horizon: a two-year distance diploma program in art therapy. It is open to students of all cultural backgrounds.

You can get more details about KATI's Rhizome Horizon distance program by clicking here.

Decolonization & Reconciliation

We at KATI see processes of decolonization and reconciliation as an ongoing movement of growth and reckoning, rather than a fixed objective to be achieved. Groundwater is KATI’s commitment to continue these processes by:

  • honoring and welcoming Indigenous ways of healing, teaching, knowing, and being
  • learning to notice and expand beyond Eurocentric worldviews and biases
  • acknowledging that many struggles faced by Indigenous Peoples are linked to historical and ongoing colonial domination and require both personal healing and social change strategies
  • actively working to reduce barriers to Indigenous Peoples’ access to education and art therapy services
  • cultivating cultural safety and inclusivity within KATI and the broader community
  • training culturally-conscious art therapists and other health, healing, and education professionals

If you would like to learn more about the Groundwater initiative or how to get involved, feel free to contact us.