The KIM story and logo begins with a Cree phrase, Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin, which when translated to English means Northern peoples’ wellness.
The Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) Inc. Chiefs Task Force on Health established KIM in January 2020. Since that time, the organization has focused on addressing gaps in health care while also supporting MKO First Nations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Since 2017, when MKO was funded by the federal government (First Nations and Inuit Health, Indigenous Services Canada) to transform clinical care in the North, the KIM story has always centered around the collective aim of achieving meaningful health transformation for First Nations people. This work is so important, and the logo should reflect that. Wellness means gaining access to the existing health and wellness services available to other Manitobans. That is very important. But it also means equity, safe care free of racism, health sovereignty and choice – our own determinants of health. Each aspect of what we are being asked to do, as reflected in the new KIM logo, has evolved from direction or input received during many discussions: with Northern First Nations leadership and health directors, Elders, traditional healers, health care providers, and with our internal team of health professionals and staff.”
~Moriah Davis, KIM’s Chief Operations Officer.
KIM’s logo features three unique medicine bags, four medicine plants, Northern skies, and trees. The logo signals a new sub-regional entity that will address gaps in access to health care via western medicine, while also respecting and upholding access to traditional medicine and practices, wherever in the North and by whomever they are embraced.
There are differences in beliefs and customs throughout the North when it comes to spirituality and what healing means. This logo is about choice and includes respect for those differing beliefs and practices. The use of the medicine bag in the logo also points to the pre-existing self-determination and sovereignty of each of the First Nations.
The medicine bag itself is a symbol of the knowledge, practices, and empowerment which predated western influences, pointing back to a time when we would have made our own choices as to what to include in the medicine bag. This is less about a set of beliefs and more about rights, choice, and empowerment.
Bound together in a continuous loop, the three different medicine bags are meant to highlight the uniqueness of each First Nation while also showing the strength that comes from unity; KIM’s three-part balanced and accountable governance structure and a continuum of quality care for First Nations peoples.
Tobacco, sweetgrass, sage, and cedar -as healing medicines- are centrally placed in the KIM logo. The Northern lights, or wawatay in Cree, are set at the top and are symbolic of the Northern skies, connecting us to the land, water, and Northern cultures.
Overall, the connectedness of each element conveys the relational aspect of wellness that supports and sustains all life.
KIM acknowledges the contributions of CoPilot Co. in developing The KIM Story Launch video (below); the meticulous artwork of Vincent Design who developed variations of the new KIM logo and animated version, along with the soundtrack provided by Moody x 2 from their song “Mahekan.” KIM also acknowledges the presence and participation of every individual featured in the short film.
The KIM Story Launch video