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, language learning, and cultural restoration. 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.

Projects 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 Indigenous peoples and all Canadians.

Donate

The Healing Fund is made possible by your donations to the Mission & Service of the church. Please give generously. If you wish to make a donation directly to the Healing Fund,

  • donate online
  • donate by mail to:
    The United Church of Canada attn. Healing Fund
    3250 Bloor Street West, Suite 200
    Toronto, ON M8X 2Y4

Sample Projects

An outdoors group shot of project participants.
Naandwidizwin-Wechihitita participants, Toronto
Credit: 
Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre

Naandwidizwin-Wechihitita / Healing Ourselves–Helping Each Other; Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre: A project committed to addressing the immediate, ongoing, and long-term needs of residential school survivors and their families through contemporary and traditional Indigenous healing methods and ceremonies. Activities include learning from and meeting with traditional Elders and healers, attending ceremonies, and self-care workshops in a supportive setting. There is also a focus on educating and building awareness in the community about the residential school experience and reconciliation from the residential school survivors’ perspectives.

Booklet showing "Welcome to the 2017 Language Immersion Camp" and thanks to the Healing Fund in Lik'wala and English.
Lik’wala language booklet, Laichwiltach Language Revitalization Committee, Campbell River, BC

Lik’wala Language and Culture Revitalization Program; Campbell River, BC: Creates opportunities for First Nations families, Elders, youth, and children to be immersed in their language and cultures through activities that facilitate the transmission of traditional knowledge, and values while nurturing the relationship between youth, Elders, and the land.

Read about more recent projects under Downloads, below, and in these blogs:

Funding Criteria

This fund is intended to support healing for Indigenous Peoples from the direct and/or intergenerational impacts of residential schools.

  • Applicants for funding will be Indigenous or represent an Indigenous group or Indigenous-run agency.
  • Applications will be part of a community-based program in an urban, rural, or remote Indigenous community and demonstrate how their community will be involved in the planning, direction, and follow-up to the event or program.
  • Applications will have two letters of support.
  • Applicants should indicate trauma-informed practices and support systems during and after their project.
  • Priority is given to healing, language, and cultural restoration projects that demonstrate realistic goals, objectives, and outcomes accompanied by an evaluation strategy.
  • Priority is given to first-time applicants. Previously approved projects in good standing may apply for new funding three years after the end of their last project.
  • Include a budget or financial statement outlining expenses, additional sources of funding, and in-kind donations. The Healing Fund portion of the budget must not exceed $15,000.

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 .

Related Funds

Close-up photo of Elder Alvin Dixon
Alvin Dixon, an Elder and leader in the church who died in 2014, chaired the Committee on Indigenous Justice and Residential Schools and served on the Aboriginal Ministries Council and the GCE.
Credit: 
The United Church of Canada
  • The Alvin Dixon Memorial Bursary Fund will support initiatives that focus on education for Indigenous students. Donations to the Alvin Dixon Memorial Bursary Fund can be made online through the United Church Foundation.
  • The Justice and Reconciliation Fund supports projects that foster dialogue, reconciliation, and relationship-building between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.

For more information on healing initiatives, please contact

Honarine ScottHealing Programs Coordinator416-231-7680 ext. 4485
1-800-268-3781 ext. 4485
hscott [at] united-church.ca
Erin ParsonsProgram Assistant416-231-7680 ext. 4057
1-800-268-3781 ext. 4057
eparsons [at] united-church.ca