Traditional Healing

Monthly Traditional Healing Calendars:

July 2019-SOAHAC Traditional Healing Calendar (PDF)

Please note that these schedules are subject to change with short notice

We are very grateful for your time and support when you meet the visiting Healers and Elders. Please note that there may be waitlists and you may be required to schedule one to two months in advance. If you schedule an appointment, please be sure you can attend in respect of the Healers and other community members on the waitlist. If you must cancel your appointment, please call us as soon as possible to allow the next person on the list to book their appointment. We thank you very much for your patience in doing this.

Traditional Healing Services

We believe that having access to traditional healing services is an essential part of wholistic health care and a vital component of healing the ongoing effects of colonization. You do not need to have a doctor at SOAHAC to see a traditional healer/Elder. If it is your first time accessing these services, you will have an intake appointment and a conversation with a Traditional Healing Liaison/Helper prior to your visit.

Each SOAHAC site has a Traditional Healing Liaison (THL) that supports Visiting Healers, Elders and Teachers who make monthly visits. The THLs use their gifts as Helpers to the Healer during your visit, and as Helpers to you before, during and after your visit. The THL is your first point of contact and will help to guide your visit with scheduling, note-taking so you can remember your appointment, and follow-up. You can contact them anytime if you have any questions.

Observing Protocols

Each Elder/Healer has their own protocols. Please speak with the Traditional Healing Liaison when you are scheduling your appointment. You may be required to bring tobacco, wear a skirt, bring a gift of cloth, or there may be moontime protocols. Offering of tobacco is meant for communication between you, the elder/healer and the Creator. You may receive recommendations to attend other ceremonies, or for traditional herbal medicines to help your recovery.

Anishinawbe Health Toronto – Approaching Elder Healer Brochure (PDF)

One to one visits

These usually begin with the offering of tobacco, followed by a conversation about your health or wellness concerns. Storytelling, teaching, doctoring, guidance, drumming, singing or smudging may all be part of your visit. The Traditional Healing Liaison will assist you and the Traditional Healer with all aspects of your visit, including note taking to help you remember your conversation.

You might feel a bit nervous about approaching a Traditional Healer during your first visit; this is normal and natural. The Traditional Healing staff will do everything they can to try and put your mind at ease so you can be relaxed and comfortable as possible.

Teaching Circles and Ceremonies

We offer specialized cultural teachings, ceremonies or other learning events. These group activities are an excellent way to learn through direct participation or observation of some of our more profound ceremonies and cultural practices. Please connect with a Traditional Healing Liaison or check the current calendar for more information.

Meet our Traditional Healers

RICHARD ASSINEWAI

Richard AssinewaiRichard (Animkii-Ankwad) is Anishnaabe from Wikwemikong First Nation on Manitoulin Island.  He currently lives in the city of North Bay.  Richard is actively involved in the preservation of his culture and traditions and is a fluent Anishnaabemwin (Ojibwa) speaker.  He has worked with Aboriginal people struggling with the justice system and has worked inside Community Corrections facilities.  Richard had endured many difficult life situations and he openly shares these experiences, his acquired knowledge and his wisdom through his personal story of spiritual development.  Although Richard is familiar with many modalities of Traditional Healing, he is most often called upon to create sacred space and facilitate spiritual ceremony, communicating with our ancestors, and assisting people to find their original connections to creation.

ELVA JAMIESON

Elva Jamieson is from the Cayuga Nation of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory.  She belongs to the Wolf Clan family of the Longhouse where she sits as Faithkeeper since she was a teenager.  Elva strongly believes in ceremony and its ability to help us adapt to different changes we experience on our Life Path.  Although she has the ability to conduct a range of traditional healing services on a holisitc/spiritual level to help guide people toward their personal healing, she considers herself a “Plant Person.”  Elva had been taught local traditional medicines through her mother who was also well-known for her indigenous knowledge of plants and their use.  Elva has incorporated all this knowledge toward her commitment to preserve our languages, culture, spirituality, and to reawaken the Onkwehonwe faith in their ability to heal themselves. 

ERNESTINE MCLEOD

Ernestine McLeodErnestine (Esstin) comes from the Mississauga First Nation near Blind River, Ontario.  She is an Anishnaabe mother and grandmother.  Ernestine has studied and facilitated the healing benefits of medicinal plants and has been incorporating and promoting Aboriginal healing methods as a part of her practice for over twenty (20) years.  She spends valuable time with Ojibwa elders in her territory and they have encouraged her to pursue her spiritual beliefs by developing and creating an awareness related to Anishnaabe Healing Methods for the people.  Ernestine’s life philosophy is, “Within the Circle of Life, Anishinaabe Healing Leads to Empowerment.”  Often, Ernestine will be asked to guide people through meadows and forests to teach them about the medicinal properties of local plants.

JOANNE CHEECHOO

Joanne is a member of the Cree Nation from the community of Moose Factory, Ontario.  Over the past number of years her work experience has been centered on the healing arts – specifically with Aboriginal people.  A sensitive caring leader in life, she completed training in the technique of Aromatherapy Massage and works in consultation with our Traditional Healing staff to help those who are experiencing too much stress and/or chronic pain.

SONNY HILL

Larry “Sonny” Hill was raised in Six Nations of the Grand River. He grew up in the Longhouse, attending ceremonies. His early exposure to ceremonies and being with the Elders have prepared him as an Indigenous Knowledge Carrier; his practice includes readings, medicine societies, their protocol, foods, and songs. Sonny moved to Oneida Wisconsin 20 years ago where he has worked at the Turtle School for 18 years. He currently provides support for both Longhouse ceremonies and behavior health in Wisconsin. Sonny also provides counseling from a cultural perspective.