Medicine Wheel and Christian Faith

The story of how one Canadian Aboriginal elder found her way to personal healing and how she passes her knowledge on to others.



Program Two: - "Medicine Wheel Traditions and Christian Faith"


“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


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 Two is to deepen students’ insight into how Aboriginal spiritual traditions enrich their practice of Catholic faith and how that ends up being a gift to the entire Church. With reflections from 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 Two: "Medicine Wheel and Christian Faith"

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

  • Who is the Aboriginal speaker in the video and what are some of her main thoughts?
  • What did you know after viewing the video that you didn’t know before?
  • In the Catholic Church, with the approval of the Bishops, there is a long history of including cultural rituals in the liturgy. We first hear of it in the Acts of the Apostles at the council of Jerusalem. It is a long-term process of serious prayer, reflection and discussion. Such dialogue is already in process with Catholic theologians and Aboriginal elders. What kind of challenges might be involved with this dialogue?
  • Using symbols that are culturally relevant creates some tension given that Christianity is a historical event, however there may be other suggestions. What other symbols might be possible for various Aboriginal cultures to use?
  • What other elements of Aboriginal rituals might be incorporated into the sacraments of initiation?
  • Give three reasons why Canadian Catholics should support the work of the Building Bridges Project.
  • From this video, describe some similarities between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal spiritual practices and how the two can come together for Catholic Aboriginal parishioners.

3. Option for Take-Home Assignment

  • Via the Internet find more facts about Canadian Aboriginal parishes and how they bring traditional symbols and ceremonies into the practice of their Catholic faith.
  • From the video, how do you think Aboriginal approaches to spirituality might help all Catholic parishioners as they look for ways to deepen their own spiritual practices.
  • In groups, make presentations to the class about any or all of the above.