The Indigenous Youth and Community Wellness Secretariat (IYCWS) was created in July, 2017, to help address ongoing safety crises and the high rates of youth suicide in First Nations communities and northern urban centres. We acknowledge these issues affect other youth across the province. We will hear and take many voices, ideas, and co-developed solutions to achieve the shared goal to improve the recovery, resiliency and well-being of Indigenous youth and their communities.

To achieve this, we’re working with Indigenous, government and community partners to:

  • develop an action plan that will improve safety, access to services, and result in improved opportunities for Indigenous youth and their communities
  • better coordinate services and initiatives across government and organizations to ensure Indigenous youth get the help they need

Action plan

We’re working jointly with partners to create a plan that supports:

  • community-based solutions
  • youth-led solutions
  • local projects and resources developed by Indigenous communities

The plan will improve how Ontario:

  • responds to ongoing crises
  • uses existing initiatives to drive community-led change

The plan has four priorities:

  • youth safety
  • recovery from crisis
  • resiliency and wellness
  • better coordination of effort and opportunity


With Indigenous communities, and other partners, Ontario has realized a number of achievements – many of them transformational to return control and jurisdiction back to communities. These include:


We established an Indigenous Partners’ Engagement Circle to collaborate on the action plan and other initiatives, coordinate efforts and strengthen ties.

The Circle will provide a forum for different parties including Indigenous partners and community members, government and other service providers. The parties will work together to co-develop a constructive Action Plan to assist Indigenous communities and youth move from crises to recovery, resiliency and wellness.

Our partners across the province include:

  • Association of Native Child and Family Service Agencies of Ontario
  • Chiefs of Ontario
  • City of Thunder Bay
  • Fort William First Nation
  • Grand Council Treaty 3 (GCT3)
  • Independent First Nations
  • Kenora Chiefs Advisory
  • Mushkegowuk Council
  • Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN)
  • Obishinniigiig Council (GCT3 Youth)
  • Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies
  • Ontario First Nations Young People’s Council
  • Oshkaatisak Council (NAN Youth Council)
  • Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth,
  • Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority

Contact information

For more information please contact: iycwsadmin@ontario.ca

We have an office in Toronto and another on Fort William First Nation – the first Ontario government office to open on a First Nation.