Indigenous Wellness Wednesday is a space for First Nations, Métis and Inuit youth to access Indigenous-focused wellness and healing. Indigenous facilitators, Elders and Knowledge Keepers support youth to explore their wellness needs and goals to better understand what wellness looks like to them. The virtual nature of this program makes it accessible to youth with disabilities and mental health challenges, those dealing with substance use and on their healing journey, youth experiencing housing insecurity and houselessness, youth in rural and remote areas, those with caregiving responsibilities, and so much more. Participants, coordinators and those who support the program have created an expansive and supportive wellness community.
This project is so important – Indigenous wellness has not been prioritized, and many Indigenous youth do not have the opportunity to explore or define their own wellness. Taleetha, Manager of Wellness Programs, is working for Indigenous people to have a better way of life and for Indigenous youth to live longer. Indigenous Wellness Wednesday is harm reduction, suicide prevention and practicing lateral liberation and kindness.
Every Wednesday, Indigenous youth gather virtually to share a meal, check-in and participate in an Indigenous-focused healing session – from pow wow bootcamps to tarot card readings. The group has had sooooo many amazing wellness facilitators, Elders and Knowledge Keepers. Indigenous Wellness Wednesday works to support Indigenous youth to define their own wellness journey and goals. Through this project, participating youth have access to one-on-one traditional wellness sessions with Elders. Sessions fill up quickly, with up to 35 youth joining each week (!!), and the Wellness Facebook community has over 160 members!
The Indigenous Wellness Wednesdays community spent 48 Wednesdays together in 2022 and had one very special virtual Wellness Retreat!
Indigenous Wellness Wednesday is funded by Catapult Canada and the Women’s Foundation.