Wellness and Healing

The outside of the Kitchener office near the EarlyOn entrance where the teaching and healing lodge is.


  • To ensure that the healing and wellness needs of the local Indigenous community are met
  • To improve mental well-being by using traditional healing practices and approaches to achieve and maintain a good mind
  • To improve physical well-being for individuals and families through the promotion of lifestyles and activities
  • To provide access to cultural knowledge and activities

Target Group/Eligibility Criteria

Self-identified, Status and non-Status Indigenous peoples sixteen years of age and older.



Cultural teachings are delivered by our Knowledge Keeper to provide Indigenous peoples access to traditional knowledge. Through this program you will learn a deep sense of self and belonging and ways to integrate Indigenous culture into your daily life, activities and choices. Some teachings include but are not limited to, Responsibility to Family, Berry, Western verses Traditional Medicines, Seasons, Creation, Clan, and Full moon.   


Our fire program is open 5 days a week to Indigenous families who seek to gather with their family around a fire. Our fires are a lounging spot for people to gather and chat. When booking on Thursdays, Fridays or Saturdays families will have access to a Traditional Knowledge Keeper who can answer any questions or engage in the conversations. Fires are maintained and built by staff. Families will be offered bannock, cedar tea and hot chocolate.

Sharing Circles

Sharing circles are offered on a bi-weekly basis dependent on community needs. Our sharing circles are intended to provide people with peer support to overcome specific challenges.

Spirit Building Workshops

Our spirit building workshop is intended to light the fire within you. By building your spirit, you’ll have a better ability to deal with change, uncertainties, and stresses within your life. You will be able to create resilience for yourself, your family, or whatever it is that is going on in your personal lives. This workshop is conducted in our teaching lodge around a fire, just outside of our building. This workshop is 2 hours in length and consists of several circle questions to get the ball rolling. 



Counselling is available to families and individuals who may be struggling with the long-lasting intergenerational effects of historical wrongdoing. Our Indigenous counselling service providers offer caring, safe and supportive support. Our Indigenous service providers honour Indigenous ways of healing, knowledge and experiences. Cultural programming, activities and traditional ceremonies are apart of our wholistic approach to care.


At AO we provide referrals to those who are seeking additional supports. We network with Native and non-Native services to further assist clients in addressing particular barriers i.e. Shelters, Housing, Legal Services, Jails, Hospitals, Education etc.

cultural Activities

At our centre individuals and families have access to our healing lodge, can partake in our drumming circles, ceremonies and feasts. Follow our program calendar for more information on monthly activities.   

All programming and services are LGBTQ+ and two-spirited welcoming.


For all those who are eligible please email us at info@aocan.org or contact our Indigenous Wellness and Healing Services Manager for more information.