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Program Eight: Medicine Wheel: Reconciliation


For Catholics, both Aboriginal and non-aboriginal, who have experienced the sweat lodge, it, brings many new dimensions to the meaning of the sacrament of reconciliation.






  • Videos:
“Program Eight - Medicine Wheel Reconciliation"


  • Documents

“Directions in Aboriginal Ministry”
Building Bridges Project/ Newman College, Edmonton Alberta


“The Story of Canadian Aboriginal Spirituality”
Chapter 3, World Religions: A Canadian Catholic Perspective
By Sr. Eva Solomon, CSJ
Novalis Publishing Inc. and Nelson Education Ltd. 2011


"Medicine Wheel: A Method of Reading the Bible"
By +Sylvain Lavoie, OMI
Publisher TBA


“Drumming from Within: Tales of Hope and Faith from Canada's North.”
By +Sylvain Lavoie, OMI
Novalis Publishing Inc. 2009


"Faith Moments: Saint Kateri Tekakwitha"

By Anne Neuberger. Novalis 2009


  • Websites:
Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) Click Here


Canadian Bishops on Saint Kateri Click Here


Canadian Bishops on Canadian Indigenous Peoples Click Here


Salt and Light TV video on Saint Kateri Click Here


Jesuits of English Canada on Saint Kateri Click Here


Catholic Missions in Canada Click Here


Saint Kateri Resources
compiled by
Religious Education + Family Life
Renfrew County Catholic School Board Click Here



Study Guide




The goal of Program Eight is to deepen students’ insight into how Aboriginal traditions of penance and healing expand one’s understanding of the sacrament of reconciliation.

With reflections from Archbishop Sylvain Lavoie, OMI, Archbishop of Keewatin-Le Pas (2005-2012), Founding Chair, Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs, Assembly of Western Catholic Bishops; Sr. Eva Solomon, CSJ, Ojibway First Nation, Sister of St. Joseph of Sault Ste. Marie, Executive Director, Building Bridges Project.




1. Show the internet TV video Program Eight: "Medicine Wheel: Reconciliation"


2. Ask students to form small groups to describe the following impressions from the video:

  • Who are the Aboriginal speakers speaking in the video and what are their main thoughts?
  • Who are the non-Aboriginal speakers speaking in the video and what are their main thoughts?
  • What did you know after viewing the video that you didn’t know before?
  • Give three reasons why Canadian Catholics should support the work of the Building Bridges Project.
  • From this video, describe a difference between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal concepts about the sacrament of reconciliation.
  • What more would be included in the sacrament of reconciliation?
    How might First Nations traditional concepts of penance and healing help everyone deepen their understanding of the sacrament of reconciliation?


3. Option for Take-Home Assignment

  • Via the Internet find more facts about the Aboriginal parishes across Canada, especially where parishes are open to non-Aboriginal parishioners.
  • From the video, how do you think Aboriginal approaches to the sacrament of reconciliation might help all Catholics understand their own spiritual practices around reconciliation, forgiveness and healing. Aboriginal peoples in their daily lives?
  • In groups, make presentations to the class about any or all of the above.