Biigajiiskaan: Indigenous Pathways to Mental Wellness - Services

The program model

Biigajiiskaan adapts the current health care system with Indigenous-led and informed pathways and combines Traditional Healing medicine and knowledge with hospital-based health care practices.

Indigenous woman performing smudging ceremony with another Indigenous woman

The program is guided by an Indigenous Governance Circle and is rooted in the Thunderbird Partnership Foundation’s First Nations Mental Wellness Continuum Framework. Biigajiiskaan’s focus is to create a hostile-free environment that provides culturally-safe care, meeting the individual and cultural needs of each client. 

Services include: 

  • An Indigenous-led mobile outreach team working in-hospital and in the community providing consultation, assessment, treatment planning/management, discharge planning and ambulatory services
  • A dedicated Indigenous Healing Space at Parkwood Institute’s Mental Health Care Building (Okwari: Kowa Healing Space, Rm F3-240) for use by inpatients and outpatients of St. Joseph’s Mental Health Care Program
  • Indigenous Elder-guided care and teachings from knowledge keepers
  • Traditional Indigenous practices, such as healing circles, ceremony, smudging and drumming circles*
  • Educational and mentoring opportunities for health care professionals and students*

* Please be advised: Due to COVID-19 guidelines, group circles, group ceremonies and student mentoring are temporarily on hold; however one-on-one support is available both in person (utilizing COVID-19 specific protocols to maintain safety) and virtually (online and by phone) through St. Joseph’s Parkwood Institute and Atlohsa Family Healing Services.