Listening to One Another to Grow Strong – Graphic Recording by Michelle Buchholz

Listening to One Another to Grow Strong (LTOA) is a community-driven and culturally-adapted mental health program for Indigenous youth and their families. Here’s a recent project by Indigenous graphic recorder, Michelle Buchholz (Wet’suwet’en) that amplifies their amazing work with visuals!

Graphic Recording Studio Project

To better enable feedback from multiple participants, researchers, and people involved, Michelle drew this project ‘in studio’ so she could incorporate their ideas. For this project, we knew our collaboration would benefit if LTOA could give input and feedback into the drawings. The project and process needed to be in-depth. Drawing Change collaborates with researchers, decision-makers and organizations around the world in this way – often people send us reports, and we provide knowledge translation and visual services to transform the documents.

Indigenous graphic recorder michelle Buchholz graphic recording Indigenous mental health

Graphic Recording and Designing for Multiple Uses 

One important question we always ask is “how could you use these images afterwards?” For LTOA, they needed a summary image, and also wanted to use these new graphics on their website for navigation. These friendly, culturally sensitive and detailed drawings really invite people to click on the right buttons. Because this was a studio project, Michelle was able to draw the poster in a way that served both needs. Here’s the website home page:


Cultural Adaptation

One thing that’s very interesting about the Listening to One Another to Grow Strong is Cultural Adaptation. LTOA writes,

“Cultural adaptation is a central theme to the LTOA project, and is a continuous process that takes on many forms. With the diversity of community and organizational partners implementing LTOA, there is great opportunity to follow and document the process of cultural adaptation in different settings. There is a lack of detailed documentation surrounding cultural adaptation, and the transparent and collaborative nature of the LTOA program may offer invaluable insight into the prerequisites, nuances and key ingredients for adaptation in Indigenous contexts.

Dr. Laurence Kirmayer is currently finishing a “Cultural Adaptation Toolkit”, which features an extensive review of what has worked and what hasn’t in terms of cultural adaptation in Indigenous contexts”. Here’s a graphic that summarizes some of the approach.

Dr. Laurence Kirmayer is currently finishing a “Cultural Adaptation Toolkit”

Michelle Buchholz graphic recorder photo Michelle Buchholz worked in collaboration with Listening to One Another to Grow Strong to create beautiful graphics to explain their program. For us at Drawing Change, we hear from communities that graphic recording supports Indigenous ways of working together and ways of learning. The graphic recording process is flexible, collaborative, and can be used to support and visualize the work in ways that support cultural safety. So many possibilities!

We encourage you to visit their website to join the network of Indigenous LTOA communities across the country, and bring it to your community too.


About Michelle:

Graphic recorder Michelle Buchholz is a proud Wet’suwet’en woman, raised in Wet’suwet’en territory and hails from the Witset Band. She studied anthropology and First Nations studies and holds a Master’s in Public Policy from SFU. Michelle is a qualitative researcher, a facilitator, and has been working with Indigenous communities and organizations for over 13 years.


If you’re looking for live graphic recording or more in-depth studio projects, no matter where you’re located, please get in touch at


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