The Canadian Indigenous Mental Health and Holistic Wellness Conference

Presented by Martin Brokenleg, Ed.D., Denise Findlay, M.Ed., ACC, Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux, Ph.D., Sandi Boucher & Michael DeMolina, Ph.D., MS., LPCS, CDCS, MAC

On Demand | Available Now


6 Hours  |   Pre-approved for 6 CEUs


This course is on-demand.

Recorded footage and all course content (certificate, videos, quiz) will be available until December 8, 2022.

Registration will close on December 1, 2022. 

Letter from ICBOC

The Indigenous Certification Board of Canada is proud to announce the first Virtual National Indigenous-focused Conference on Mental Health and Holistic Wellness to be live streamed on December 8, 2021.

ICBOC encourages its certified members, partners, allies and anyone interested in these topics, to support and participate in this unique event, organized in collaboration with Jack Hirose, President and CEO of Jack Hirose and Associates, to advance the Truth and Reconciliation’s calls for action.

Thanks to Jack Hirose’s committed support, this Indigenous-focused training conference will highlight some of the TRC’s important recommendations, in particular the call for Canadians to recognize the value and effectiveness of Indigenous healing practices and to encourage cultural competency training for all health care professionals.

The Canadian Indigenous Mental Health and Holistic Wellness Conference presents a unique opportunity to learn how Indigenous culture, used as the foundation for therapeutic interventions in Mental Health and wellness, is effective not only for Indigenous individuals, families and communities, but for everyone.

This event will provide the opportunity to meet well-known, respected Indigenous presenters with decades of experience in their professional and cultural holistic therapeutic practice. The group includes Martin Brokenleg, Ed.D., Sandi Boucher, Denise Findlay, M.Ed., ACC, Michael DeMolina, Ph.D., MS., LPCS, CDCS, MAC and Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux, Ph.D.

ICBOC is pleased to have this opportunity to demonstrate, through these high caliber Indigenous professionals the leading-edge of Indigenous cultural approaches to health and healing. We hope to see many of you attend this truly unique training event and enjoy the rare space the presentations will provide, where Canadian and Indigenous participants can meet and acquire a better understanding of each other.

Contact for ICBOC
Giselle Robelin
Acting Executive Director and Director of Programs Indigenous Certification Board of Canada

Letter from Jack Hirose

On behalf of Jack Hirose and Associates and the Indigenous Certification Board of Canada (ICBOC), we would like to invite you to join us for the first ever Canadian Virtual Indigenous Mental Health and Holistic Wellness Conference planned for December 8, 2021. This conference is the first of many upcoming training initiatives planned in collaboration between Jack Hirose and Associates and the Indigenous Certification Board of Canada.

Once again we are grateful for the support of our main sponsors Sunshine Coast Health Centre and Georgia Strait Women’s Clinic. Sunshine Coast Health Centre is one of the top mental health and addiction programs in BC and Canada. Georgia Strait is a women’s-only facility and brings together the collective expertise of highly-trained, experienced professionals to serve women struggling with their mental health.  Jack Hirose and Associates is proud to have aligned with both organizations that support and value quality training for mental health professionals.

We are grateful to all our guest presenters who graciously agreed to participate in the conference and share their expert knowledge as it relates to Indigenous mental health and holistic wellness. Our team of presenters will address an array of relevant topics including: intergenerational trauma; building resilience; living the medicine wheel; uniting mind, body, energy and spirit; healing the legacy effect; strengthening and healing the kinship circle.

It is our hope that this conference will help all professionals who are interested in learning more about mental health and holistic wellness to better serve indigenous clients/students or other populations. We hope you can join us for this very special event!

Jack Hirose, M.A.
President and CEO
Jack Hirose and Associates

Identifying Intergenerational Trauma and Building Resilience Strategies among Indigenous Peoples and Other Populations presented by Martin Brokenleg, Ed.D.

During this presentation, internationally known presenter Dr. Martin Brokenleg will identify intergenerational trauma and how to build resilience strategies among Indigenous peoples and other populations. Intergenerational trauma is a feature of life for people from a whole variety of cultural backgrounds and life experiences. The resilience strategies taught by Dr. Brokenleg are transferable to a wide range of clients. Dr. Brokenleg will discuss the social, emotional and cognitive impact. You will learn the importance of being trauma-informed in working with clients or students. Dr. Brokenleg draws from research and experiences of Indigenous cultures and will provide long-lasting solutions to build resiliency and manage trauma.

“In this materialistic, fast-paced culture, many children have broken circles, and the fault line usually starts with damaged relationships. Having no bonds to significant adults, they chase counterfeit belongings through gangs, cults, and promiscuous relationships. Some are so alienated that they have abandoned the pursuit of human attachment. Guarded, lonely, and distrustful, they live in despair or strike out in rage. Families, schools, and youth organizations are being challenged to form new “tribes” for all of our children so there will be no “psychological orphans.” ~Dr. Martin Brokenleg

Gathering Our Medicine: Strengthening and Healing the Kinship Circle presented by Denise Findlay, M.Ed., ACC

The cascading impacts of intergenerational trauma as a result of colonization and residential schools are far reaching. Indigenous families and communities have faced immense suffering as a result of the decimation of the place-based cultures and ways of being that supported health and well-being since long ago. Mainstream approaches to mental health and the treatment of trauma have proven ineffective for the most part. “Gathering Our Medicine” offers a fresh approach for families, communities and those in helping roles longing to support collective healing. “Gathering Our Medicine” is a cross cultural model intended to re-orient us in our work with Indigenous families and communities. Informed by attachment theory, developmental science and the science of emotion, the program provides a framework for restoring dignity to role of caring for each other in the context of community  and the cultural ways of  kinship circle. The program encourages a restoration of the communities’ natural capacity to care for one another while shifting helping professionals into the role of facilitators and to restore the very relationships in which healing can unfold naturally and spontaneously.

Awakening the Trickster: An Invitation to Healing the Legacy Effect presented by Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux, Ph.D.

Cynthia will speak to the need to understand the legacy effect of original and intergenerational trauma within Indigenous populations. Historic and recent events cannot be divided into “chapters” in Canada’s history – there has been a continuous impact on the well-being of Indigenous peoples. The Trickster awakens the unconscious to adverse experiences and jumpstarts the healing process. It’s a restoration of traditional life ways and a reestablishment of “wise practices” or deeply cultural behaviours and familial relationships.

Living the Medicine Wheel presented by Sandi Boucher

Information on Indigenous cultures and teachings is often hard to come by and the results are often questionable.  But those who live within one of those cultures know that Indigenous teachings are empowering, not only to Indigenous people, but to anyone who chooses to adopt them. This session introduces participants to the Medicine Wheel teachings, a teaching tool used by many.

Uniting Mind, Body, Energy and Spirit presented by Michael DeMolina, Ph.D., MS., LPCS, CDCS, MAC

This presentation will address the science and the wisdom of uniting mind, body, energy and spirit. As we broaden our understanding of trauma and addictions, we realize we are all in recovery from something, and we already have the internal resources we need for individual and community healing. If we speak of trauma, we must describe resiliency. When we intervene on addictions, we must tell of the joys of connection. And when we share stories of our past, we must also plant seeds of hope for future generations.


Identifying Intergenerational Trauma and Building Resilience Strategies among Indigenous Peoples and Other Populations presented by Martin Brokenleg, Ed.D.

  • Intergenerational trauma amongst Indigenous Peoples an Other Populations
  • Intergenerational resiliency and educational effectiveness

Gathering Our Medicine: Strengthening and Healing the Kinship Circle presented by Denise Findlay, M.Ed., ACC

  • Overview: gathering our medicine
  • Restoring Dignity and pathways to healing
  • Cultural rituals and rites of passage

Awakening the Trickster: An Invitation to Healing the Legacy Effect presented by Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux, Ph.D.

  • Introduce the role of trickster figure
  • Introduce ACE, epigenetics and telomeres
  • “Wise practice” approach to healing

Living the Medicine Wheel presented by Sandi Boucher

  • Introduction of Facilitator
  • Ego Exercise
  • Introduction of Alma Boucher
  • Introduction of the Medicine Wheel Image
  • The Four Directions
  • The Four Sacred Medicines
  • The Four Stages of Life
  • The Four Aspects of Being
  • The Four Colours of Man
  • Living the Medicine Wheel Teachings
  • My Own Wheel

Uniting Mind, Body, Energy and Spirit presented by Michael DeMolina, Ph.D., MS., LPCS, CDCS, MAC

1. Introduction to “best practice” in the healing process.
2. Introduction to mind-body practices
3. Introduction to Poly-vagal Theory and Memory Reconsolidation Theory.

Identifying Intergenerational Trauma and Building Resilience Strategies among Indigenous Peoples and Other Populations presented by Martin Brokenleg, Ed.D.

  1. Identify intergenerational trauma among Indigenous people and other populations.
  2. Understand the principles of resiliency and how it is learned.
  3. Review research regarding the educational effectiveness of using resiliency strategies with all clients and students.
  4. Recognize the importance of intergenerational resiliency as an asset in contemporary living for all clients and students including Indigenous people.
  5. Explain the traditional Indigenous themes of The Circle of Courage as a model of resilience.

Gathering Our Medicine: Strengthening and Healing the Kinship Circle presented by Denise Findlay, M.Ed., ACC

  1. Provide an overview of the “Gathering Our Medicine” approach
  2. Share the power of restoring dignity to caring for one another intergenerationally as the most direct pathway to healing
  3. Discuss how cultural rituals and rites of passage provide the context for healing most naturally

Awakening the Trickster: An Invitation to Healing the Legacy Effect presented by Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux, Ph.D.

  1. Familiarity with the role of the Trickster figure in healing
  2. Understanding the Circle of Trauma and the Legacy Effect
  3. Understanding the role of ACEs, Epi-genetics, and Telomeres in healing
  4. Framing a “wise practice” approach to healing

Living the Medicine Wheel presented by Sandi Boucher

  1. A greater understanding and/or appreciation for Indigenous teachings
  2. An empowering tool that they can use in their own lives
  3. Exposure to a culture so often misunderstood
  4. The chance to determine how “in balance” they currently are.

Uniting Mind, Body, Energy and Spirit presented by Michael DeMolina, Ph.D., MS., LPCS, CDCS, MAC

  1. Participants will learn healing modalities from several indigenous traditions that are now being accepted in the modern day as “best practice” in the healing process.
  1. Participants will be introduced to a variety of mind-body practices, including Energy Psychology, EFT Tapping, and the Core Transformation Process.
  1. Participants will gain an understanding of how Poly-Vagal Theory (Porges) and Memory Reconsolidation Theory (Ecker) support traditional healing methods.


Education and Clinical Professionals: K–12 Classroom Teachers, School Counsellors/Psychologists, Learning Assistance/ Resource Teachers, School Administrators, School Paraprofessionals including Special Education Assistants, Classroom Assistants and Childcare Workers. All other professionals who support students including but not limited to: Nurses, Social Workers, Psychologists, Clinical Counsellors, Family Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, Addiction Counsellors, Youth Workers, Mental Health Workers, Probation Officers, and Early Childhood Educators.

Parents, Caregiver, Foster Parents, Grandparents, and Extended Family raising a child.

Martin Brokenleg, Ed.D. is co-author of the book Reclaiming Youth at Risk: Our Hope for the Future and co-developer of the Circle of Courage model and provides training worldwide for individuals who work with youth at risk. He holds a doctorate in psychology and is a graduate of the Anglican Divinity School. He is a retired professor and was most recently Director of Native Ministries and Professor of First Nations Theology at the Vancouver School of Theology. For thirty years, Dr. Brokenleg was Professor of Native American studies at Augustana University of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He has also been a director of The Neighbourhood Youth Corps, chaplain in a correctional setting, and has extensive experience as an alcohol counsellor. Dr. Brokenleg has consulted and led training programs throughout North America, New Zealand, Europe, Australia, and South Africa. He is the father of three children and an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.

More information:

Denise Findlay, M.Ed., ACC is a bi-cultural person of Indigenous Coast Salish and settler ancestry, proudly belonging to the Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation), who has dedicated the last 20 years to travelling throughout British Columbia and across Canada working exclusively in Indigenous communities facilitating processes focused on collective healing. Denise’s work is strongly focussed on de-centring experts where child and youth mental health his concerned and restoring dignity to the role the natural kinship circle plays in providing care to Indigenous children and youth. Denise is responsible for leading the development and implementation of an innovative Provincial program called Gathering Our Medicine, in collaboration with community-based Advisory and Working Groups. Gathering Our Medicine provides an innovative, cross cultural framework that empowers communities to see themselves and their placed based ways of knowing and being as the best medicine for children and youth. The program respectfully and wisely de-centres mental health experts, re-orienting them as facilitators who walk alongside families and communities restoring dignity and confidence to the role of raising and caring for children.

Denise is currently undertaking a PhD. in Philosophy of Educational Practice and Theory at Simon Fraser University and was awarded a Social Sciences Humanities Resource Council Scholarship (Canadian Graduate Scholarship) for her ground-breaking research. Denise’s research focus is on intersecting knowledges emerging from the fields of attachment theory, and developmental and affective neuroscience with Indigenous wisdom traditions and how cultural places-based knowledges most naturally support healing, recovery and development across the life span for Indigenous families and communities. Denise longs to disrupt the status quo and affect sustainable change in the way mental health services are delivered in community settings to families impacted by colonization and intergenerational trauma.

Denise has spent countless hours facilitating group processes in response to social issues rooted in intergenerational trauma and colonization. Denise holds a Master of Education from Simon Fraser University focusing on Contemplative Education and is on Faculty with The Neufeld Institute where she specializes in Developmental Attachment Theory, Trauma, and Resilience. Denise is a certified BC Provincial Post-Secondary Instructor and Professional Co-Active Coach with advanced training in Process Psychology and systems work.

Denise has vast experience working in community and training Educators, Parents and Parent Groups, Social Workers, Early Childhood Educators, Mental Health Practitioners and other Helping Professionals.

Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux, Ph.D. served as Vice Provost for Indigenous Initiatives at Lakehead University for three years. Effective September 2016 she was appointed as the 1st Indigenous Chair for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada for Lakehead University and continues to develop pathways forward to reconciliation across Canada. Cynthia was inducted as a “Honourary Witness” by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada in 2014, and is the Chair of the Governing Circle for the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba.

Cynthia was the inaugural Nexen Chair for Indigenous Leadership at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity where she remains a faculty member and is currently the Interim Director for the Indigenous Leadership Program. She is also Chair of the Teach for Canada non-profit which recruits teachers for remote First Nation schools in Ontario and Manitoba.

Cynthia is a member and resident of the Chippewa of Georgina Island First Nation in Ontario and has dedicated her life to building bridges of understanding. She sees endless merit in bringing people from diverse cultures, ages, and backgrounds together to engage in practical dialogue and applied research initiatives. She is deeply committed to public education and offers as many as 150 key notes, workshops, and training sessions annually to a variety of groups, organizations and institutions. She teaches on historic and contemporary Indigenous trauma and wisdom, treaties and right relations, active youth engagement, and Indigenizing education.

She is always interested in mentoring young people and co-founded a youth project out of the University of Toronto, the University of Saskatchewan and Lakehead University. More information on the Canadian Roots Exchange (CRE) can be found at:

Sandi Boucher is an internationally recognized and much-loved speaker. A proud member of Seine River First Nation in northern Ontario, Canada, Sandi is a dedicated author, activist, and advocate for both Indigenous self-determination and Canadian reconciliation.

But first and foremost, Sandi is a storyteller with the unique ability to tell a story that not only increases the listener’s self-awareness but their awareness of others as well. Using metaphors and analogies, Sandi makes complex concepts understandable while providing support and encouragement throughout her presentations. The result – a listener who never feels “shamed” for what they did not previously know or understand. It is this gift that has Sandi loved by so many dedicated fans and followers – her undeniable faith in her listeners and their ability to learn. No matter the topic, Sandi uses conversational English, humour, and stories to ensure that learning is enjoyable for all, whether her audience is Indigenous, non-Indigenous, or mixed. Sandi Boucher makes her home in Thunder Bay, Ontario, where she enjoys spoiling her grandchildren every chance she gets.

For more on Sandi and her work, please visit:

Michael DeMolina, Ph.D., MS., LPCS, CDCS, MAC has 30 years as a psychotherapist, trainer and consultant, and has dedicated his career in seeking out the deepest and most thorough methods of healing and transformation. He is a certifying Trainer with the Society of NLP and has taught in over 70 cities in North and South America. Michael is considered a Master Trainer of Energy Psychology and co-wrote the EFT Certification course for the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology. He is Founder and President of Wisdom Traditions, an Integrative Medical & Counselling Center in Alaska.

Michael is most interested in exploring the areas in which ancient wisdom meets modern discovery; a place where science and spirit may be experienced as one.

RegistrationEarly bird FeeRegular Fee
Individual Enrollment$249.00N/A
Full-Time Student$199.00N/A

All fees are in Canadian dollars ($CAD).

For group and/or student rates please view our Terms & Conditions and contact for more information and registration. 

  • Canadian Psychological Association
    The Alberta College of Social Workers (ACSW) and the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Social Workers (NLASW) accept CPA-approved continuing education credits