Minwaashin Lodge – A Place for Healing

Since it was founded in 1993, around 1,000 clients have come through the door of Minwaashin Lodge each year. The Lodge offers a safe and nurturing environment for women and their families who bear the profound scars of the residential school system, including child loss, poverty, adoption, incarceration and addiction.

Minwaashin Lodge offers a haven where women and their families can embark on a journey of healing, guided by Elders and dedicated staff.

The organization’s humble beginnings revolved around a small group of direct survivors of the residential school system known as the Wisdom Keepers. This collective later laid the foundation for the flagship program, The Culture Program. The Wisdom Keepers, despite their own healing journey, shared their stories, courage, resilience, and laughter, serving as an inspiration for women who followed in their footsteps.

Minwaashin Lodge continues to uphold the values of its Culture Program and employs 43 Indigenous women who provide essential services, including street outreach, trauma counseling, children’s services/programming, employment readiness, school access, and post-secondary training. 

The Indigenous Reconciliation Fund has provided funding to support operational costs, honorariums, program expenses (such as accommodations, transportation, meals, and childcare) and Elder fees. This has allowed the Lodge to expand its offerings and meet the needs of the over 40,000 Indigenous people in the Ottawa region.

The demand for the Culture Program remains high, as it stands as the only program of its kind in Ottawa. Many participants, including women and children, seek healing and resilience in the face of intergenerational trauma, often stemming from their experiences in the residential school system.

Minwaashin Lodge offers a range of programs and services designed for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis women and children who have survived domestic violence and other forms of abuse, while also grappling with the lasting effects of the residential school system. All initiatives are rooted in cultural beliefs and values, ensuring a holistic approach to the healing journey.

For further details on the Culture Program and other offerings provided by Minwaashin Lodge, please visit their website. https://www.minlodge.com

Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall