Supporting Indigenous Elders by Revitalizing Indigenous Knowledge

The Oasis Society for the Spiritual Health of Victoria is a not-for-profit organization that delivers culturally appropriate programs to urban Indigenous peoples. The Society works with vulnerable Indigenous people living on the streets of Victoria and those involved in street life.

The goals of their program are to foster a sense of belonging in a caring, inclusive and culturally appropriate community; nurture the establishment and growth of authentic relationships between people from different walks of life; host events that encourage connection to self, others, extended family, nature, elders and ceremony.

While Oasis runs a number of projects aimed at revitalizing Indigenous culture and supporting health and wellbeing, there has not been a project to specifically support Indigenous Elders, seniors and older adults. Funding from the Indigenous Reconciliation Fund will support the hiring of a Program Coordinator to set up a program that supports older Indigenous adults who have directly experienced the impacts of colonialism and residential schools and are at increased risk of homelessness, abuse and isolation. 

Mainstream programs often fall short of incorporating the social and cultural aspects that are important to the knowledge and belief systems of older Indigenous people and leave them without the much-needed support towards healthy aging. Indigenous Elders and seniors have played a significant role in the governing of communities. Through this new role, Oasis Society will be able to create space and offer support that centers around Indigenous ways of knowing and doing.

For more information about the Oasis Society and its Integrated Recovery and Holistic Wellness program, please visit https://oasisvic.org/. The Oasis Society is a not-for-profit urban Indigenous organization dedicated to serving vulnerable Indigenous individuals in Victoria. Through their program activities based on the Medicine Wheel, the Oasis Society promotes spiritual health and holistic well-being, addressing the multi-generational impacts of colonialism. Their participant-led approach and strong community involvement make them a valuable resource for Indigenous individuals seeking support and connection.

Diocese of Victoria