Culture and Language Revitalization

Healing the Divide: Indigenous Reconciliation Fund Supports the Returning to Spirit Program

The Returning to Spirit (RTS) Program is a reconciliation workshop series aimed at repairing relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. Indigenous-led, and promoting healing and reconciliation, the three-part program brings together Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to learn, heal and reconcile.

In 2022 and 2023, the IRF provided financial support to Returning to Spirit, funding a 10-day journey of healing and reconciliation for participants.

While reconciliation at times may seem like a vague or unattainable concept, RTS breaks it down into small but impactful steps for everyone. The workshops focus on learning from the past, gaining the tools to make change in our present and being empowered to create a better future.

The Returning to Spirit program has made invaluable contribution towards Canada’s ongoing work of Truth and Reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. Through its unique focus on self-exploration, community-building and restorative conversations, the program is helping to build bridges at a personal and community level.

Starting with the Foundations

The first two parts of the Returning to Spirit Program are 2 four-day workshops: one for non-Indigenous participants and one for Indigenous participants. In these workshops, participants are given the opportunity to learn about themselves and the world around them, with a particular focus on understanding the historic and ongoing trauma that Indigenous communities have experienced. 

The workshops provide a safe and compassionate space for participants to explore how their beliefs, assumptions and behaviors may be contributing to generational trauma. By recognizing and releasing these patterns, participants can begin to find new and healthier ways of being in the world.

Advancing to Reconciliation

The third part of the program is a five-day workshop that brings together the Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants from the foundational sessions. This 5-day workshop focuses on the development of Reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. Unique to the Return to Spirit program, participants engage in face-to-face conversations with each other, exploring their shared histories and working towards creating understanding, trust, and Reconciliation on a community scale.

Episcopal Corporation of Keewatin