Blending Indigenous Approaches to Treating Trauma and Mental Health Disorders Conference

Presented by Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux, Ph.D., Carolyn Coker Ross, MD, MPH, CEDS, Denise Findlay, M.Ed., ACC, Raven Sinclair, Ph.D. & More!

Live Streaming on June 22, 2022


6 Hours  |   Pending CEU Approval


More Information Coming Soon!


This online course will be streaming live on June 22, 2022 from 8:30am – 4:00pm PT, 10:30am – 6:00pm CT, 11:30am – 7:00pm ET after purchase.

Recorded footage and all course content (certificate, videos, quiz) will be available until July 25, 2022. Extensions cannot be granted under any circumstances. 

Registration will close on June 21, 2022. 

More Information Coming Soon

Viewing End-of-Life Through an Indigenized Lens presented by Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux, Ph.D.

Many of us have spent our lifetimes defending our lands, waters, and children’s rights, and it has made a difference, but there are other parts of our lifeways requiring attention as well. Most of us are aware that health care has been a place of significant discrimination. This webinar offers food for thought on how the biomedical model has interfered with end-of-life experiences for Indigenous peoples. The goal is to create awareness and generate a discussion on how the regeneration or restoration of “wise practices” (we have our own ways) is in our own hands, and in the hearts and minds of our Elders.

Culturally Informed Healing Practices for Treating Trauma and Eating Disorders presented by Carolyn Coker Ross, MD, MPH, CEDS

Our culture is how we see and make meaning of the world around us.  Our experiences, “what happens to us”, can be interpreted differently depending on our cultural lens.  Trauma has been shown in research to be a significant predictor of eating pathology.  Research has also shown that culture is a vital element in the development of eating disorders.  One way in which culture promotes eating disorders is through understanding that body image issues and eating behaviours may serve as reactions to cultural norms that idealize thinness.  While eating disorders have been primarily seen as affecting white middle to upper class women, more recent studies have shown unequivocally that eating disorders occur in ethnically diverse women and in men, with trauma often being a significant risk factor for the development of an eating disorder.  Culturally informed healing practices provide an understanding of the social and local contexts of trauma that can enrich a clinician’s ability to improve outcomes for clients with trauma and eating disorders.

Centering Indigenous Knowledges in the Treatment of Trauma and Mental Health presented by Denise Findlay, M.Ed., ACC

As the necessity for decolonizing and Indigenizing approaches to mental health becomes more apparent, practitioners across the helping fields are focussed on the effectively blending of “mental health” approaches with cultural practices. There exists a burgeoning number of scholarly articles and studies of which this is the exact focus. During this session Denise explores this topic from an ethical perspective touching on the need for relational, safe, intercultural approaches to the centre Indigenous wisdom, ways, community and family as the most natural site for healing. Practitioners are encouraged to situate as, walking alongside, families and communities and embodying a stance of receptivity to culture(s) as a powerful medicine while allowing understandings from the dominant “mental health” paradigm to inform but not overshadow the wisdom inherent within clients and the kinship circle.

Presented by Raven Sinclair, Ph.D.

Description coming soon!

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:

Carolyn Coker Ross, M.D., MPH, CEDS is an internationally known author, speaker, expert and pioneer in the use of Integrative Medicine for the treatment of eating disorders and addictions.  She is a graduate of Andrew Weil’s Fellowship Program in Integrative Medicine. Dr. Ross is the CEO of The Anchor Program™, an online coaching program for binge eating disorder, emotional eating and food addiction.  She is the former head of the eating disorder program at internationally renowned Sierra Tucson and has served as medical director at two other programs.  Dr. Ross is a consultant for treatment centers around the US who want to include her unique integrative medicine approach to help clients recovering from eating disorders and addictions.  She is the author of three books, the most recent of which is The Food Addiction Recovery Workbook.  You can reach Dr. Ross at or

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.

Raven Sinclair, Ph.D. & More!

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.