Culture and Language Revitalization

Growing Together: Healing with Indigenous Foods and Medicine

For many Indigenous communities, food is medicine and medicine is food. Growing food is a connection to Traditional Knowledge and others in the community. Indigenous women, especially, hold important wisdom about healing with traditional plants.

The Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) is offering an Indigenous Foods and Medicine Healing Program, connecting Indigenous women with Elders and Knowledge Keepers to learn about traditional agriculture. It is a journey towards increased access to food and medicine and a path guided by cultural wisdom and communal bonds.

Funding from the Indigenous Reconciliation Fund supports the program by providing tools and resources for growing food and medicine. This helps the women feel more connected to their culture and community, and it is a step toward healing from the trauma of colonization.

Over the last 50 years, ONWA has been a leader in Indigenous women’s rights, Indigenous women’s access to culturally relevant programming and policy, as well as Indigenous women’s leadership. Our Land-Based Healing program builds on cultural healing and community connectedness. Elders and Knowledge Keepers provide guidance on ceremony, teachings, and interventions using land and cultural camps to support individual, family, and community-based healing practices. Community members have participated in over 4,000 land-based events using both in-person and virtual platforms.

Diocese of Thunder Bay