New Tipi at Hart House Farm, University of Toronto

Waakebiness-Bryce Institute for Indigenous Health.

The Wigwam-Relatuhedron

The Relatuhedron Wigwam at Waakebiness-Bryce Institute for Indigenous Health.

The Relatuhedron is a multilevel, multiperspective, culturally safe approach to promote and sustain individual and community processes of growth, based on “pedagomiologies” of relational and creative construction. The relatuhedron neologism is an art shape that was inspired from the Narrative Inquiry Method (Stewart, 2008), from the perspective of complex adaptive-dynamic systems.
As an open, welcoming and protected space, the relatuhedron invites participants to build on their experiences of strengths which are considered a fertile land to create new supportive relationships with themselves, nature, culture and others. In the relatuhedron, relational knowledge is promoted and shared as a safe encounter -for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous persons- as a reflexive community narrative, mediated by an interactive and commonly shared art construction. It is a space based on doing and sharing the dialogue between Indigenous and non-Indigenous worldviews on topics of interest of historical, cultural and socio-determinants of health and mental health concerns. The relatuhedron builds on the pressures, hopes, expectations, dreams, ideals, needs, emotions, and visions that “intermesh” Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers, staff, students and communities. The relatuhedron is a place, a land (in the sense of land-based pedagogies) to gather and share, it is a place to open conversations, it is a multilevel tool, a machine of possibilities.

The relatuhedron is a neologism (Rodriguez, 2016) from the root of the English word relation = relat and the Latin hedra = solid shape, which stands for “shape shaped by relationships”. The transformative impact of this creative art production can be observed in the personal individual space, the community and the social grammar developed to verbalize the construction of the togetherness of social life.
I am grateful with all Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members, scholars, and institutions that supported this initiative including two awards from the Mental Health Commission of Canada, SPARK training program “Innovation to Implementation” (2016, 2019), and Native Child and Family Services of Toronto pilot program and the Waakebiness-Bryce Institute of Indigenous Health and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health.
Let’s build something amazing together!


At the Waakebiness-Bryce Institute for Indigenous Health, researchers and educators from across the University of Toronto work with community partners and Indigenous peoples to address complex factors that underlie disparities in health between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

The Institute is engaged in research, education and service initiatives to overcome health challenges and evaluate interventions to prevent disease and improve health. Its scholars study health policy and administration to improve the delivery and quality of Indigenous health care, and educate Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, so that each year more Canadians and citizens of the world can recognize, reduce and eliminate health inequities.

Director Dr. Suzanne L. Stewart

Research Associate: Dr. Angela Mashford-Pringle

Research Coordinator: Dr. Juan Rodriguez (jc.rodriguez@utoronto.ca)

Administrative Assistant: John Wabegijik

Learn More


Heather Hanwell

In this drawing the sun, tree, land and water are connected to “life” representing how health and well-being are rooted in (re)connection to land/water. “Life” has been written with a quill pen to represent Indigenous leadership and self determination in creating health and holistic well-being. The quill is an Eagle feather representing Truth and the …


Waakebiness-Bryce Institute for Indigenous Health

Dr. Juan Rodriguez-Camacho

jc.rodriguez at utoronto.ca


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