Ontario promotes improved health and wellness in Indigenous communities through the Indigenous Healing and Wellness Strategy.

Indigenous Healing and Wellness Strategy logo

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.
  • 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 Indigenous healing, health and wellness and reduce family violence and violence against Indigenous women and children.

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

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

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 culturally appropriate and Indigenous-led programs and services. Five Ontario government ministries fund the strategy:

  • Children and Youth Services
  • Community and Social Services (ministry lead)
  • Health and Long-Term Care
  • Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
  • Status of Women

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, Inuit and urban Indigenous communities within a holistic and culture-based framework.

In 2016/17 the strategy provided direct services to more than 54,000 clients.

Since its creation the strategy has created approximately 600 jobs and 460 community-based health and healing projects across the province, on and off reserve.

  • The Journey Together: Ontario’s Commitment to Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples details programs and actions to address the legacy of the residential schools and that describes the Ontario-Indigenous partnerships that are helping move forward in a spirit of reconciliation.
  • Under “the Journey Together: Ontario’s Commitment to Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples”, the Ontario government increased support to Nishnawbe Aski Nation for crisis coordination through four additional coordinator positions and a flexible crisis fund when crises, such as suicides, occur.
  • Under “The Journey Together”, Ontario government is investing in new or expanded Indigenous Treatment and Healing Centres, both on- and off- reserve that will provide care using a combination of traditional healing and clinical approaches.

Learn more

Visit the websites of our ministry partners: