The Healing Fund supports healing, cultural restoration, and community revitalization. The Alvin Dixon Memorial Bursary Fund will support Indigenous education initiatives.

The Healing Fund

Logo: Healing Fund

The United Church recognizes its historic complicity in imposing cultural and religious superiority, and—as Indigenous communities renew culture, language, and spiritual and traditional knowledge—its responsibility to tangibly support and accompany them.

The Healing Fund, established in 1994, offers financial support to grassroots projects that focus on healing and reconciliation. The Healing Fund Council, with representatives from the All Native Circle Conference, British Columbia Native Ministries, and Ontario/Quebec Native Ministries, seeks to represent the diversity of Indigenous communities across the country, determines the fund’s criteria, and evaluates applications.

Project must be connected to the continuing need for healing from the legacy of the Indian Residential Schools system. Many name a need for mending, restoring, and celebrating—a sense of loss, along with hope for rebuilding identity.

As the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action state, a holistic (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual) approach to healing must be a focus for all Canadians.

Donate

 Your donations to The Healing Fund directly contribute to the United Church’s commitment to healing and reconciliation.

  • Donate online
  • Donate by mail to:
    The United Church of Canada attn. Healing Fund
    3250 Bloor Street West, Suite 300
    Toronto, ON M8X 2Y4

Sample Projects

Drum Making and Drum Awakening Ceremony
The Strong Together project assists Aboriginal women in building relationships while participating in culture based workshops such as the Drum Making and Drum Awakening Ceremony.

Since 1994, approximately 500 projects out of 1,300 applications received have received support. Many identify the deep longing to honour the memory of the children who did not return from residential schools.

The Healing Fund has supported monuments honouring the children removed from their homes during the Sixties Scoop, in which Indigenous children were sent to foster or adoptive families. A documentary telling the story from the perspective of adoptees was promoted. In the summer of 2015, a weekend gathering invited adoptees to participate in ceremony, storytelling, art therapy, and sharing circles to introduce and reinforce Indigenous knowledge in a supportive setting.

The Kispiox Rediscovery Project offered an intergenerational week-long camp that took place on the Kispiox ancestral lands in BC. Cultural and language immersion programs have been held in Escasoni, NS; Tobique First Nation, NB; and Gitsegukla, BC.

The Walpole Island First Nation Anishnaabe Language Advisory Group created a calendar that promotes a learn-a-word-a-day strategy. On one date in September, the teaching is “Bizindow getzijig—listen to Elders.” Other projects include opportunities for Elders to gather for meals and conversation, healing circles, quilting, and intergenerational gatherings where language can be shared with the younger generations.

Funding Criteria

  • Applications are from Indigenous groups or Indigenous agencies.
  • Applications must demonstrate how the project is community-driven. 
  • Two letters of support are required.
  • Applications must include a budget reflecting the amount requested (up to$15,000), in-kind and other sources of funding. 
  • The Healing Fund Council prioritizes applications specific to healing, language, and cultural restoration projects.
  • Applications must demonstrate safety considerations and aftercare for participants.
  • Projects in good standing may apply again once every three years after the submission of their final reports.

Applications for funding are due March 15 and September 15.

Criteria and guidelines for fund disbursement, an application to The Healing Fund, and further background information are available under Downloads, below. For further information, please contact  healing [at] united-church.ca .

Alvin Dixon Memorial Bursary Fund

The Alvin Dixon Memorial Bursary Fund will support initiatives that focus on education for Indigenous students. The fund honours and celebrates the life and work of Alvin Dixon, an Elder and leader in the church who died in 2014. Alvin chaired the Committee on Indigenous Justice and Residential Schools and served on the Aboriginal Ministries Council and the Executive of the General Council.

Donations to the Alvin Dixon Memorial Bursary Fund can be made online through the United Church Foundation.

To get in touch about Indigenous community funds, please contact

Honarine ScottHealing Programs Coordinator416-231-7680 ext. 4485
1-800-268-3781 ext. 4485
hscott [at] united-church.ca

  • See also: The Justice and Reconciliation Fund supports projects that foster dialogue, reconciliation, and relationship-building between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.