Indigenous Healing and Wellness Strategy
Learn about Indigenous-designed and delivered programs and services to improve Indigenous healing, health and wellness and reduce violence against Indigenous women and children.
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About the Indigenous Healing and Wellness Strategy
Ontario promotes improved health and wellness in Indigenous communities through Indigenous-led programs and services such as the Indigenous Healing and Wellness Strategy.
The Indigenous Healing and Wellness Strategy reflects a shared commitment between the Ontario government and First Nations, Métis, Inuit and urban Indigenous partners to reduce family violence and violence against Indigenous women and children, and improve Indigenous healing, health and wellness through a continuum of culturally appropriate and Indigenous-designed and delivered programs and services.
The strategy combines traditional and mainstream approaches to program and service delivery. These community-based programs and services are available to Indigenous peoples living in First Nations and in urban and rural communities. They include:
- Community Wellness Workers
- Programs that provide counseling to address mental and emotional issues, crisis prevention and intervention, health promotion and education
- Healing Lodges
- Shelters and safe houses for women and their children experiencing or at risk of experiencing violence
- Pre-natal and post-natal care(through the Indigenous Healthy Babies, Healthy Children Program, and the Maternal and Child Centre)
- Mental health and addictions treatment and healing centres
Three ministries fund the strategy:
Three symbols make up the Indigenous Healing and Wellness Strategy logo.
- The turtle represents Turtle Island. This is Mother Earth.
- The people are holding hands. This means they will help each other with their problems.
- The people are standing in a circle. This is the circle of life. The people are our friends, families and strangers — people who need our help or who are helping us.
The success of the strategy
Since it was launched in 1994, the strategy has had many successes across Indigenous communities. It has:
- improved access to health care and culturally-appropriate healing services
- enhanced services to address family violence
- helped build the capacity of First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities and urban Indigenous organizations within a wholistic and culture-based framework
In 2018–2019, the strategy provided direct services to more than 58,790 clients.
The strategy supports more than 650 jobs in more than 240 locations across the province, both on-reserve and off-reserve.
Programs and support for Indigenous individuals and families
- help Indigenous individuals and families living in First Nations, and in urban and rural communities
- provide traditional Indigenous practices, such as teachings, land-based activities, ceremonies and other cultural activities that are integrated into everyday programming
Healing, health and wellness services
- Community Wellness Workers
- Healing lodges
- Health navigators
- Health Outreach Workers
- Outpatient hostels
- Indigenous language translation services in a health and medical context
Mental health and addictions services and support
- Indigenous Healing and Wellness Strategy Crisis Team Program
- Indigenous mental health and addictions treatment and healing centres
- Mental health day programs
Support for Indigenous women and children and individuals experiencing or at risk of experiencing violence
Pre-natal and post-natal and early years supports for Indigenous women, children and families
Support for Indigenous communities and organizations
The strategy supports Indigenous partners to build capacity within their organizations and member communities to address the health and wellness needs in communities through:
Za-geh-do-win Information Clearinghouse provides Indigenous-specific information and resource materials to communities and groups regarding family violence, family healing and health.
Read a list of the Indigenous partners that deliver and manage Indigenous Healing and Wellness Strategy programs and services, including many of the founding members of the strategy.
- Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians
- Grand Council Treaty #3
- Nishnawbe Aski Nation
- Union of Ontario Indians
- Métis Nation of Ontario
- Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres
- Ontario Native Women’s Association
- Independent First Nations:
- Animbiigoo Zaagi'igan Anishinaabek First Nation
- Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek
- Bkejwanong Territory (Ojibways of Walpole First Nation)
- Chippewas of Nawash First Nation
- Chippewas of Saugeen First Nation
- Iskatewizaagegan 39 Independent First Nation
- Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation
- Mohawk Council of Akwesasne
- Shawanaga First Nation
- Temagami First Nation
- Wabaseemoong Independent Nations
- Whitesand First Nation
- Six Nations of the Grand River
- Indigenous Healing and Wellness Strategy Healing Lodges and Treatment Centres
Find provincial and federal government support for the health, healing and wellness of Indigenous peoples in Ontario.
Government of Ontario
- Helping women flee domestic violence
- Support for Indigenous human trafficking survivors
- Ontario Indigenous Children and Youth Strategy
- Apply for a birth, death or marriage certificate at ServiceOntario
- Register your newborn baby
- Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP)
- Health Connect Ontario or call 811
- Provincial Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Program
Government of Canada
- Indigenous Services Canada
- Public Health Agency of Canada
- Non-insured health benefits for eligible First Nations people and Inuit
- First Nations and Inuit health
- Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program
- Long-term drinking water advisories for First Nations
- Short-term drinking water advisories for First Nations
- Indigenous Family Health
If you have questions about these services, please contact the service provider.