Check It Out: New Making It Work Study Logo

We are excited and proud to share our new logo for the Making it Work Community-Based Research (CBR) Study.  Making it Work is an Indigenous-focused, community-based research project in British Columbia co-led by PAN, Sherri Pooyak at the Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Community-Based Research Collaborative Centre (AHA Centre) and Dr. Nancy Clark at UVIC. This study is looking at how, why, and under what circumstances programs that model cultural safety, case management and community development services work best for people living with HIV, hepatitis C, ill mental health and/or problematic substance use.

We were very fortunate to have Clayton Gauthier, a Cree/Dakelh artist, design this logo for us, which does a wonderful job of capturing some important themes of this work. This blog post is to share with you how we worked on this logo as a team, Clayton’s interpretation of his artwork, and what this logo represents to the CBR team.

The process

To begin the process, we asked our CBR team to highlight what about this work was important to them. These thoughts were given to Clayton to provide inspiration for him to design a logo that reflected the priorities of this work.

Clayton first provided us with some of his ideas, which allowed for more discussion amongst the team. Feedback from the team was then brought back to Clayton, at which point he went to work designing what is now our Making It Work logo.

Clayton provided an artist interpretation statement alongside the logo, which you can read below:

Artist’s Interpretation

A Gathering

This piece depicts a gathering. The sacred fire is a gift from creator that brings light, warmth and powerful energy. When the fire is lit, the people gather to share their hearts with each other through song… stories and prayer. A lot is shared with the fire as it lights our own fire within. Surrounded by the fire as we gather are 2 feathers pointing downward out of respect. The middle of the feather is the road we walk, each little hair on the feather is a lesson we need to learn as we walk this life here on mother earth.

“As we gather and share the journey we are on… Creator we ask you to keep our fire lit from within so we can share our warmth, love and light with all.”

— Clayton Gauthier


Inspiration from the CBR team

An important theme that came up in discussions with the CBR team was the sense of home that people feel from and within community organizations. The fire as ‘home’ represents a place for connection, where people gather to share stories, knowledge, ceremony and sing songs. Additionally, the fire represents the study’s focus on health and wellbeing, since we also need fire for warmth, for food and for health.

Because this project takes place in several communities it was important to the team that we chose symbolism that was not unique to one culture. The fire symbolizes these things to many cultures and can represent the two-eyed seeing of cultures on this project.

Lastly, the people shown within the fire represent both the way our team does work and how organizations work to use connection, respect, collaboration and relationship to do work in a good way.

We would like to thank Clayton Gauthier for his beautiful and thoughtful artwork. We also welcome your thoughts, feedback, and questions about the logo and about the Making It Work study.


Read more about:

Making it Work Project

The AHA Centre


Questions? Feedback? Get in touch!
Joanna Mendell, Research Coordinator for the Making it Work Project 
[email protected]