The ministry promotes healthy Aboriginal communities through the Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Strategy.

Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Strategy logo

Three symbols make up the Aboriginal 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.
  • They 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 Strategy combines traditional and mainstream programs and services to help improve Aboriginal health and reduce family violence.

These community-based programs and services are available to Aboriginal people living on-reserve and in urban and rural communities. They include:

  • community wellness programs
  • Aboriginal Healthy Babies, Healthy Children Program
  • counselling to address mental and emotional issues
  • crisis intervention services
  • healing lodges
  • health care, health promotion and education
  • shelters and safe houses for women escaping domestic violence and their children
  • pre and post-natal care
  • substance-abuse treatment centres.

The Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Strategy is a joint program between the Ontario government and First Nations and Aboriginal organizations. Five Ontario government ministries fund the strategy:

  • Children and Youth Services
  • Community and Social Services
  • Health and Long-Term Care
  • Aboriginal Affairs
  • Ontario Women's Directorate

The success of the Strategy

Since it was launched in 1994, the strategy has had many successes both on and off reserve. It has:

  • improved access to health care
  • enhanced services to address family violence, and
  • built the capacity of First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities within a holistic and culture-based framework.

In 2008/09, the strategy provided direct services to more than 42,000 clients. Over 450,000 community members took part in 17,971 community-based education and awareness activities sponsored by 360 projects.

Since its creation the strategy has:

  • established a network of programs, including:
    • ten Aboriginal Health Access Centres
    • six healing lodges
    • seven family shelters
    • two family violence healing programs
    • two outpatient hostels, and
    • crisis intervention teams in 47 northern communities
  • created more than 650 jobs and 460 community-based health and healing programs, and
  • trained more than 1,000 staff yearly in health and social services.

Learn more

Visit the websites of our ministry partners:

About Ontario’s renewed Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Strategy