Traditional Healers Program

SCO created the Traditional Healers Program at the direction of the Chiefs of the southern First Nations. The goal is to provide high quality, culturally appropriate programming that responds to health and wellness needs in southern First Nations and is accountable to southern First Nations people and communities.

This program is a step toward reclaiming Anishinaabe and Dakota traditional ways. Providing access to Traditional Healers, medicines, ceremony, and language are proven to improve quality of life.

By offering access to vetted Traditional Healers, our program will connect community members to Healers in a way that is both safe and reliable.

The SCO Traditional Healers Program provides the citizens of the southern Nations with access to Traditional Healers and more opportunities to access ceremony.

This page includes the following information about our new program:

Why the program exists

Providing culturally appropriate health and wellness services is a key part of SCO’s strategic direction. It aligns with our broader goal of health transformation.

Access to Anishinaabe and Dakota Traditional Healers is a critical part of reclaiming our health. We do this work supported by a program lead and the guidance of the SCO Chiefs, Elders, and Knowledge Keepers.

Traditional and cultural healing practices are wholistic, treating the spirit, mind, body, and emotions of participants. Traditional practices protect communities and families, helping First Nations to flourish and survive colonization.

First Nations on Turtle Island have practiced traditional healing and wellness since time immemorial. Traditional wellness and healing are a very important parts of First Nations health that are often overlooked by the western health care system. Traditional Healers, Elders, and Knowledge Keepers are highly skilled care professionals.

Two people gathering medicine and participating in Land-Based healing

About our Traditional Healers

  • Traditional Healers are defined as a First Nation cultural practitioner, Elder, Medicine Person, or Knowledge Keeper who provides traditional medicine, traditional teachings, and ceremonies all the while serving as mentors and teachers to people in the community.
  • Traditional Healers are identified by their community, have many years of training from a reputable Traditional Healer, are community oriented, a good role model, and ensure continuance of traditional healing.

Who is eligible for the program

Any SCO citizen can access the Traditional Healers Program.

SCO will ensure clients safe access to such services guided by a Traditional Healers Council or Committee.


The Traditional Healers Program provides SCO citizens access to the following:

  • Traditional ceremonies, medicines, and land-based teachings
  • Education, culture camps, and traditional activities to reclaim health through culture and language
  • Sharing circles and other opportunities for First Nation Elders and Knowledge Keepers to rebuild the knowledge base and support knowledge transfer, including traditional protocols and story telling
  • Mentorship opportunities for youth to learn from Traditional Healers so that traditional medicine practices continue

The Traditional Healers will provide healing, wellness, counsel, and guidance to the citizens of the southern First Nations in a way that is safe, accountable, and respectful to the person’s needs.

Traditional medicines may be provided as part of healing services. Traditional medicines such as sweetgrass and sage are harvested in a ceremonial way, with the person doing the harvesting praying for the spirit of the medicine.

Traditional Healers may provide healing services in any number of ways. Methods of healing may include traditional ceremonies such as sweatlodges; sundances; naming, pipe, water, grief/memorial, and cedar bath ceremonies; and more.

How to request support from the program:

To request Traditional Healer support, please complete this online form (PDF). If you are unable to fill out the online form, you can find a printable version PDF here!

All requests must be submitted 10 days prior to appointment date(s) for approval, to ensure adequate time for Finance to process payment.

The Traditional Healers Program tries to ensure as many people as possible are able to access financial support for healing each year. As funds are limited, repeat requests are approved based on resources.

After you have completed the form, send it to us:


Fax: 204-946-1871

If you need help completing the form, contact the program by email at or call 431-277-8608.

Contact the program

Winnipeg Sub-Office 1572 Dublin Avenue Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3E 0L4

Phone: 204-946-1869 Toll free: 1-866-876-9701