top of page


Misiwe Ni Relations Healing Forest

Manotick, ON Established in 2018 The Misiwe Ni Relations Healing Lodge in Manotick, Ontario brings people together for the purpose of healing and harmony and to remind us that we are all interconnected. The lodge offers a treatment program for Indigenous foster youth that uses land-based healing, including medicine walks and traditional ceremonies. The lodge established a Healing Forest in 2018, dedicated as a place to find solace and comfort for residential school survivors. A heart garden was created in ceremony with local elders, children, and community members. It contains 150 stones in a heart-shaped garden that honours the 150,000 children who attended residential schools.

All Saints Healing Forest

Ottawa, ON Established in 2019 In the summer of 2019, the All Saint’s Sunday School program sparked the dream of establishing a Healing Forest on Richmond Road in Ottawa’s Westboro community. The children met on the property of All Saints’ Anglican Church and designed their Healing Forest. Together with community members and parents and staff from All Saints and First United Church, the dream became a reality. That fall, a one-tonne ‘Grandmother Rock’ was added, plus a pathway and descriptive signage. In October 2018, the congregations of All Saints’ and First United gathered and welcomed Grandmother Francine, who explained the meaning of the smudging and drumming ceremony and expressed her hope that this small Healing Forest would be a benefit to the community at large.

Indigenous Community & Healing Garden

Ajax Pickering Hospital, Ajax, Ontario Established in 2022 In 2022, the Ajax Pickering Hospital created an Indigenous Community & Healing Garden on its site, including native trees and shrubs, a wildflower meadow and circular raised-bed vegetable garden. The donor-funded garden is run by the Ajax Pickering Hospital Foundation and community volunteers and will provide a tranquil space for patients, visitors and staff to relax and heal. Partners: Ajax Pickering Hospital Foundation, Lakeridge Health, Ajax Mayor’s Gala, Miinikaan Innovation & Design, local Elder, We Grow Foods.

Central Manitoulin Wellness Orchard, Central Manitoulin Public School

Mindemoya, Ontario Established 2023 Central Manitoulin Public School is situated in the heart of Manitoulin Island. Manitoulin is the world’s largest freshwater island located in Lake Huron, Ontario. Central Manitoulin Public School is situated on the traditional lands of the Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi Nations and has the pleasure to learn from neighbouring Indigenous communities to help build upon the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action. A Wellness Orchard has been created on the school grounds for everyone to enjoy as part of the National Healing Forest Initiative. Students, families, daycare and community members have the opportunity to walk along cedar lined paths, sit on limestone boulders, participate in teachings about the medicine wheel, learn about the 7 Grandfather teachings, eat fresh produce from the garden and plants, or enjoy the flowers. Over 200 fruit trees have been planted along with 8 garden boxes that are used to grow produce to feed our community. This wonderful green space has provided a safe place for all to use, reflect, grow and heal, while connecting with Mother Earth.

Birch Path Healing Forest, Just Food Community Farm

Gloucester, Ontario Proposed in 2022 Indigenous and non-Indigenous community volunteers are collaborating to develop a Healing Forest in a stand of birch trees located at Just Food Community Farm, in Blackburn Hamlet, just outside Ottawa, Ontario. Partners: Just Food Community Farm, Root in Nature, Forêt Capitale Forest

Navan Healing Forest 

Navan, Ontario Proposed in 2022 The Navan Community Association is proposing a Healing Forest be established at a municipal park in Navan, near Ottawa, Ontario. It will serve as a space to contemplate, meditate and educate about the history of residential schools, honour the victims and celebrate survivors, as well as to bring some light to the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls. A place to pay respect by planting a seed to reconciliation and respect all relations. Partners: Navan Community Association, Friends of Mer Blue, Women's Institute of Navan, Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB), City of Ottawa and various community groups.

Perth Healing Forest 

Perth, ON Established in 2018 The Perth Healing Forest was established on September 30, 2018. Located in Last Duel Park in Perth, Ontario, it includes a memorial rock installation dedicated to reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. A National Healing Forest display panel includes text written in Anishinabemowin and English. A healing circle was added in 2022. Each year, hundreds of community members gather for ceremonies and events, including National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and National Indigenous Peoples Day.

Noojimo’iwewin Gitigaan
Healing Forest

Toronto, ON Estabished in 2021 Stewarded by members of the Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Group at St. Matthew’s United Church in Toronto, the Noojimo’iwewin Gitigaan Healing Forest is a small green space, home to dozens of species of native plants. Both the land and the water are acknowledged in signage that situates the garden between the “lost rivers” of Taddle and Garrison Creeks, and identifies the four sacred medicines – tobacco, sweetgrass, sage, and cedar – that grow there. A core group of 20 community members steward the urban greenspace. The Healing Forest’s name was given by Elder Peduhbun Migizi Kwe/Catherine Brooks (Nipissing FN), who had heard about the All Saints Healing Forest project in Ottawa and encouraged the IPSG to join the National Healing Forests Initiative. The site includes a winding commemorative pathway and moon-shaped rain gardens designed by Anishinaabe artist Bert Whitecrow and gardener Olivia Dziwak.

Eagle Lake Farabout Peninsula Healing Forest 

Farabout Peninsula, Ontario Established in 2022 In 2022, Eagle Lake Farabout Peninsula Coalition in partnership with the Eagle Lake First Nation received the “Healing Forest” designation. A ceremony was held at our meeting site during which the 1084 hectare peninsula was declared a “Healing Forest”. In 2023 “Healing Forest” and conservation signs were posted in and around our meeting area situated on Farabout’s portage path. A memorial bench was installed at the site commemorating long-term Coalition members who have died. Their commitment to the protection of Farabout Peninsula remains a guiding force for the Coalition. Our visitors’ box and book recorded over 60 people that ventured by water to visit our meeting site in 2023. Aside from local folks, this included people from the east and west coasts of Canada, a number of American states, as well as Sri Lanka and Mexico. Our Healing Forest site appears to be creating a draw to this area of Farabout Peninsula where visitors can learn about the purpose of a Healing Forest, the long history of the Ojibway on Eagle Lake, as well as the rich diversity of Farabout Peninsula’s flora and fauna. Further information about the efforts of the Coalition and Eagle Lake First Nation to protect Farabout Peninsula can be found at:

Northlea United Healing Forest

Northlea United Church, Toronto, Ontario Established in 2023 In June 2023, Northlea United Church reached an important milestone. An outdoor Ceremony of Dedication was held and Northlea officially became a Healing Forest. Our pine tree forest, with its Pine Gallery was dedicated as “a place for healing, learning, sharing, and reflection about Canada’s history and the legacy of Indian residential schools.” Social and environmental justice advocate and founder of Msit No’kmaq, Carolynne Crawley accompanied us on this journey. In the early spring in two webinars, she shared Indigenous knowledge and stories; and on June 17th, she explained and led a smudging ceremony and shared Indigenous wisdom about gifts from the earth including from pine trees and other forest beings. A National Healing Forests plaque has been mounted beside the church walkway, under the pines, on an old pine tree stump – a reminder of the ongoing need to nurture the land and its trees as they age and experience extreme weather. In acknowledging the land that our church is built on, its towering pine trees and our responsibility for them, our pine forest has become a place for learning and reflection. We invite everyone who uses our church and everyone passing by it to linger in our Healing Forest, to connect and experience the earth in “the spirit of reconciliation, healing, shared understanding and respect.” May the Northlea Healing Forest help us all rekindle love and respect for one another and for nature.

Kinoo wiiyaa minoyaa Healing Forest, Manitoulin Secondary School

M’Chigeeng, Ontario Proposed in 2022 The kinoo wiiya minoyaa (place where everyone becomes well in mind and spirit) Healing Forest is proposed for the schoolyard of Manitoulin Secondary School, which has 40 per cent Indigenous students. Partners: Manitoulin Secondary School, MSS Ecoschool Team, M’Chigeeng First Nation, local companies

Waupoos Healing Forest 

Prince Edward County, Ontario Proposed in 2022 The proposed Waupoos Healing Forest will be located in a private forest within the traditional territory of the Tyendinaga Mohawk (Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte). A local company and local groups are aiming to create a trail and garden with native plants, trees and shrubs. Partners: Marcatus QED, Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte

bottom of page