Blending Indigenous Approaches to Treating Trauma and Mental Health Disorders Conference

Presented by Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux, Ph.D., Carolyn Coker Ross, MD, MPH, CEDS, Suzanne Methot, B.A., B.Ed. & Joanne Dallaire, LL.D

Live Streaming on June 22, 2022


6 Hours  |   Pre-approved for CEU’s


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. 

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.

Forgetting, Remembering, Restorying: Using Narrative Approaches to Decolonize Colonial Systems and Address Complex and Intergenerational Trauma presented by Suzanne Methot, B.A., B.Ed.

Indigenous peoples use oral tradition to bring past, present, and future together. Helping survivors centre themselves in the present, remember the past, and envision their goals for the future is also a key part of healing trauma. This session considers how the traumatic experiences of colonization have impacted oral tradition in Indigenous families and communities, and the effects this has had on intergenerational survivors. It will also focus on the benefits of narrative-based approaches in addressing physical pain and changing how survivors see themselves. During this session, we will also consider the stories of Canada past and present, and how these narratives determine the work of settler-colonial systems and society’s understanding of health, wellness, and healing.

Indigenous science and medicine connects the internal self to the external world within a network of relationships. Complex trauma distorts relationships and destroys the survivor’s sense of self. Intergenerational trauma takes these patterns and extends them to communities and family systems. Restorying interrupts these patterns and re-centres culture and community as a source of healing. Practitioners also need to restory – and see themselves in the story – if they are to do the work of facilitating these connections.

Creating a coherent narrative out of fractured/fragmented memories helps survivors manage intrusive images, flashbacks, triggers, and re-enactments so they can get to a place where they know themselves and see the world as a safe place. Creating a new narrative about Canadian society helps practitioners know themselves and the institutions in which they work. Stories make the world. What we tell, what we don’t tell, and how we tell it, shapes who we are and what we hope to be.

Trauma…. The New Teacher presented by Joanne Dallaire, LL.D 

As an Indigenous educator, I know about the foundational differences between Western and indigenous approaches.  The Indigenous paradigm is all about relationships. These relationships cover all the person, from birth to senior. It also includes family and intergenerational trauma, identity and cultural influences.

We will explore how to use this approach and improve the client’s self-confidence and self-reliance. Hopefully, this will result in stronger relationships with clients and better collaborations with other service providers.


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

1. Introduction to the bio-medical model
2. Re-generation and restoration of “wise practices”

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

1. Trauma research and predictor of eating pathology
2. Body image issues, eating behaviours, reactions to cultural norms
3. Culturally-informed healing practices

Forgetting, Remembering, Restorying: Using Narrative Approaches to Decolonize Colonial Systems and Address Complex and Intergenerational Trauma presented by Suzanne Methot, B.A., B.Ed.

1. Helping trauma survivors – past, present and future
2. Narrative approaches to address pain and suffering
3. Fractured/fragmented memories, intrusive images, flashbacks, triggers and re-enactments

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

1. Create awareness and generate discussion of “wise practices”
2. Explain how the bio-medical model has interfered with the end-of-life experiences for Indigenous people

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

1. To improve outcomes for clients with trauma and eating disorders
2. To demonstrate how culture promotes eating disorders

Forgetting, Remembering, Restorying: Using Narrative Approaches to Decolonize Colonial Systems and Address Complex and Intergenerational Trauma presented by Suzanne Methot, B.A., B.Ed.

1. Identify and discuss three narrative-based strategies to facilitate change in trauma survivors
2. Analyze existing colonial narratives and develop new narratives aimed at decolonizing settler-colonial systems and institutions

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.

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

Suzanne Methot is the author of the award-winning non-fiction book Legacy: Trauma, Story, and Indigenous Healing (2019), which Margaret Atwood chose as one of 10 books to read for “important background reading in a time of Canada-First Nations clashes.” She is also the co-author of the textbook Aboriginal Beliefs, Values and Aspirations (2011). Suzanne is a social historian, educator, and community worker who has over 30 years of experience creating and applying equity-based programs, curriculum, and service frameworks in the education, social service, health care, and museum sectors. She has also worked in advocacy and direct-service positions at organizations including the YWCA Elm Centre (Winona’s Place) and the Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto, and facilitated change-making sessions/groups at West Neighbourhood House (Toronto), Strong Nations (Nanaimo, BC), and the Hiiye’yu Lelum House of Friendship (Duncan, BC), serving community members healing from intergenerational trauma and reclaiming culture while marginalized by racism, poverty, homelessness, health status, addictions, mental-health challenges, crime, and victimization.

Suzanne’s work focuses on systemic change through decolonization, anti-oppression, and culture-based, trauma-informed practice. At the Toronto District School Board, she created an arts-based classroom program for Indigenous students experiencing intergenerational trauma that matched Indigenous cultures, histories, and perspectives to the Ontario curriculum in order to foster identity, engagement, and student achievement. At the Anishinabek Nation, Suzanne provided support to Community Health Representatives in over 40 on-reserve communities across Ontario, and also co-facilitated a province-wide community consultation on Indigenous culture-based models for long-term care. Community engagement and community-led approaches are central to Suzanne’s work. At the Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto, she co-facilitated community consultations that developed the first set of best practices and professional standards for Indigenous adult literacy programs in the province through the Ontario Native Literacy Coalition’s Native Literacy Planning Process. She was also part of the educator working group that developed a culture-based curriculum framework for urban Indigenous learners during the First Nations Adult Education Project. From 2014 to 2019, Suzanne was an appointee to the Royal Ontario Museum’s Indigenous Advisory Circle, assisting the ROM Learning Department in building authentic and sustainable relationships with Indigenous communities. Suzanne also served on the Program Advisory Committee for Durham College’s Faculty of Journalism and Mass Media from 2016-2019, and on the Voice of Witness Education Advisory since 2020.

Born in Vancouver and raised in Sagitawa/Peace River, Alberta, Suzanne is Asiniwachi Nehiyaw (Rocky Mountain Cree) of mixed Indigenous and European heritage. She lived on Wendat-Haudenosaunee-Anishinabeg territory in Toronto for 29 years, and now lives on the unceded territory of the Snuneymuxw Nation, near Nanaimo, BC. Her book for young adults, Killing the Wittigo: Indigenous Culture-Based Approaches to Waking Up, Taking Action, and Doing the Work of Healing, will be published in Spring 2023 by ECW Press.

Joanne sits as the Elder and Senior Advisor Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation for Ryerson University, Chair of Ryerson’s Aboriginal Education Council, co-chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Directive and co-chair of the Standing Strong Task Force.

“Her presence on this council is essential to its ability to work as a cohesive, respectful body responsible for the infusion of Indigenous curriculum, worldviews and overall presence in Ryerson University as a whole. It is in no way an exaggeration to say the progress envisioned for Ryerson University in terms of the mandate of the Indigenous Education Council, would not be possible without the support, guidance and active engagement of Joanne.”

Joanne sits as an Elder for the Toronto District School Board, the Urban Indigenous Education Center of the TDSB and is the chair of the Urban Indigenous Community Advisory Committee, where she provides direction, consultation and training.

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