The Healing Fund, established in 1994, is a grant that supports healing initiatives in Indigenous communities to address the ongoing impacts of the residential school system. Many name a need for mending, restoring, and celebrating—a sense of loss, along with hope for rebuilding identity. Indigenous communities may apply up to $15,000 to create healing, culture, and/or language projects.
Your donations to Missions & Service support the vital work of the Healing Fund. Find out how to donate.
The Healing Programs Working Group (formerly called the Healing Fund Council), made up of representatives from diverse Indigenous communities across the country, determines the fund's criteria and evaluates applications.
Support for the Healing Fund is movement towards living out the United Church's Apology to Indigenous Peoples (1986) and the Apology to Former Students of United Church Indian Residential Schools and to their Families and Communities (1998). The Healing Fund is made possible by your donations to Mission & Service of The United Church of Canada.
Please give generously to Mission & Service. 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
Equine Assisted Learning Program, Plains Presbytery and Indigenous Ministries Youth Leadership: In 2018, male youth from Plains Presbytery engaged in this program at Cartier Farms in Prince Albert, Sask. They developed leadership skills with the help of horses while focusing on sacred connections with the horse and traditional ceremonial activities.
Reclaiming Our Voices, West Region Child and Family Services: This four-day Manitoba women’s gathering takes place as a land-based cultural healing camp that welcomes more than 100 women from nine Indigenous communities. Participants learn traditional and western healing methods to use on their healing journeys. Many of the participants have children in foster care or are at a high risk of losing their children.
Revitalizing the Circle Two Spirit PowWow, OUTSaskatoon: The Revitalizing the Circle Two Spirit PowWow is a cultural celebration that works toward the decolonization of gender identity and gender expression. This powwow represents significant movement forward for Saskatoon and surrounding communities and brings together people from across Western Canada.
Read about more recent projects under Downloads, below, and in these blogs:
- Healing Ourselves - Helping Each Other: Residential school survivors and University of Toronto students gather to build relationships and find pathways to reconciliation.
- Remembering the Survivors: Orange T-Shirt event honours former students at the site where Mt. Elgin Residential School once stood.
- The Sharing Circle: Indigenous outreach ministry in Winnipeg offers a heart-warming experience of being at home.
- Awakening Indigenous Offers Healing for Body, Mind and Spirit: A program that teaches self-care and healing through breath work and meditation.
Applications for funding are due March 15 and September 15.
Successful applications will most closely reflect the criteria outlined here:
- Applications will be specific as to how proposed projects will address the ongoing impacts of the residential school system and intergenerational trauma through innovative healing, cultural and/or language projects.
- Priority will be given to first-time applicants. Successful applicants in good standing (i.e., submitted their reports) may apply again after three years.
- Applicants will be an Indigenous group (First Nations, Métis, or Inuit); community (urban, rural, or remote); or agency.
- Projects will be part of a community-based program or grassroots initiative.
- Applications will request an amount for their project (up to a maximum of $15,000) to use within one year starting from either June 1 (for March 15 applications) or December 1 (for September 15 applications).
- Applications will include two letters of support: one from a local agency and one from a member of the community.
- Projects will use trauma-informed practices (i.e., aftercare) to promote the emotional safety of participants, where necessary.
- Indigenous applicants may apply with non-Indigenous applicants. We encourage Indigenous and non-Indigenous applicants to follow the principles, norms, and standards of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) as a guide in your work together.
The Healing Fund will not consider applications that are
- from or for the benefit of an individual
- to reduce accumulated capital or operating deficits, or to retire debt
- for general operating costs not linked to a project that meets the fund's granting criteria
- for building projects
- for furniture or capital equipment purchases
- for salaries or wages
- for non-Indigenous churches/ministries
- for education tuition (more information about Waase-Aabin Scholarships for Indigenous students is available below)
Criteria and guidelines for fund disbursement, an application to The Healing Fund, and further background information are available under Downloads, below. For more information, please contact healing [at] united-church.ca .
The Healing Program's Other Funds
- The Dorothy Jenkins Memorial Fund supports Indigenous ministry personnel and volunteers in leadership development.
- Waase-Aabin Scholarships for Indigenous students:
- The Endowment Fund for Indigenous Post-Secondary Education is for students ages 18 to 29. The annual deadline to apply is March 15.
- The Alvin Dixon Memorial Bursary Fund supports initiatives that focus on education for Indigenous students.
Donations to any of these funds can be made online through The United Church of Canada Foundation.
For more information on healing programs, please contact healing [at] united-church.ca