Aqua Nibii Waawaaskone and Johnathan Whittaker both credit Okichitaw for making them stronger and more connected to their Indigenous roots. (Richard Agecoutay/CBC)

“When we’re training, it’s like everything in the world that tries to bring you down stops. For those minutes, hours when we’re training, we’re free.”

Her partner, Johnathan Whittaker, invited her to try the martial art on one of their first dates, and he says it’s helped him, too.

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