The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) is pleased to announce the Thunderbird Partnership Foundation as a Cedar-level sponsor of the Ninth Healing Our Spirit Worldwide (HOSW) Gathering.
HOSW celebrates the diversity, strength and resilience of First Nations and Indigenous people and Gatherings take place in different international locations every four years.
Richard Jock, Chief Executive Officer of the FNHA, was among those involved with the first HOSW gathering in Edmonton, Alberta in 1992. Said Jock, “It is an honour for the FNHA to have Thunderbird Partnership Foundation as our first major sponsor and vital support to the HOSW movement, which will bring together the global Indigenous health community to celebrate the resiliency of our people."
Thunderbird Partnership Foundation is a leading culturally-centred voice on First Nations' mental wellness, substance use and addictions in Canada. Thunderbird strives to support culture-based outcomes of Hope, Belonging, Meaning and Purpose for First Nations individuals, families, and communities. The Foundation's mandate is to implement Honouring Our Strengths: A Renewed Framework to Address Substance Use Issues Among First Nations People in Canada and the First Nations Mental Wellness Continuum. Thunderbird supports an integrated and wholistic approach to healing and wellness serving First Nations Peoples and various levels of government through research, training and education, policy and partnerships, and communications.
“The HOSW movement is a meaningful collection of the voices of the original peoples of the earth where we were placed by the Great Spirit, the lands now known as Canada, United States, Americas, Australia, Aotearoa and Pacific Islands," says Dr. Carol Hopkins, Executive Director of the Thunderbird Partnership Foundation. “As Nations begin to emerge from the Covid pandemic, we continue to struggle with the public health crisis of toxic drugs and inequitable capacity to respond. Our collective Indigenous voice will bring courage and excitement over the shared innovations and wise practices. For these reasons, Thunderbird Partnership Foundation is honoured to support the gathering this year."
A guiding principle of the First Nations and Indigenous worldview is that all living things are connected. Each should be respected and acknowledged for its unique contributions to the circle of life. All sponsorship categories at the Ninth HOSW Gathering honour plants that are respected by Indigenous people in Canada for their medicinal and healing properties. The Cedar tree has many practical and medicinal uses. Cedar can be offered to the sacred fire during sweat lodge ceremonies, burned during prayers and, when boiled, can purify indoor air and be used for cedar baths and healing tea.
The Ninth HOSW Gathering will take place from September 11-15, 2023 on the unceded and ancestral territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) people, in the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The gathering is hosted by the FNHA and health governance partners the First Nations Health Council and First Nations Health Directors Association in coordination with the International Indigenous Council for HOSW. For more information visit hosw.com.