Medicine Wheel Healing: Community Healing

Aboriginal healing centres such as Pound maker Lodge in Alberta pay special attention to the idea of a community healing circle, and at the centre of it, a sense of the sacred, produced and held together by the people who make up the circle.



“Program Nine - Medicine Wheel for Community Healing"


“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 Nine is to deepen students’ insight into how Aboriginal traditions of community circles and ceremonies are vital in the process of healing, both on a personal level and as communities that have endured difficult pasts throughout the process of colonization.

With reflections from Rosella Kinoshameg, Odawa First Nation, Member, Aboriginal Council, Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops; Sr. Eva Solomon, CSJ, Ojibway First Nation, Sister of St. Joseph of Sault Ste. Marie, Executive Director, Building Bridges Project; Fr. Daryold Corbiere Winkler, CSB, Ojibway First Nation, Basilian Priest.


1. Show the internet TV video Program Nine: "Medicine Wheel Healing: Community Healing"

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?
  • What did you know after viewing the video that you didn’t know before?
  • Sr. Eva Solomon, CSJ speaks of mystical experiences. In the Catholic church understanding, what is a mystical experience?
  • What is a mystic?
  • In the book “Mystics of the Church” by Evelyn Underhill, we see that no century has been without its Mystics throughout the history of the Church. And certainly our most recent century has been enriched by some of the most extraordinary Mystics in the history of the Church, such as St (Padre) Pio (1887-1968)—the first Priest confirmed to have had the sacred Stigmata, St Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938) of the Divine Mercy devotion, and the extraordinary lay Mystic and Stigmatic, St Gemma Galgani (1878-1903), just to name a few. St.Kateri Tekakwitha is sometimes referred to as ‘mystic of the wilderness.’ What other Aboriginal people from the Western hemisphere might be considered mystics?
  • 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 healing, both for individuals and as communities.

3. Option for Take-Home Assignment

  • Via the Internet find more facts about the Aboriginal healing circles across Canada.
  • From the video, how do you think Aboriginal approaches to healing might help all Catholic parishioners as they look at difficulties in their relationships and Church communities.
  • In groups, make presentations to the class about any or all of the above.