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Reclaiming Our Spirits (ROS) is an Elder-led program supporting Indigenous women (cis, trans & two-spirit inclusive) with experiences in violence on their journey towards wellness and self determination through connection to culture, community and one-on-one nursing support.

Under the framework of iHEAL (Intervention for Health Enhancement & Living) ROS nurses’ goal is to support women’s capacities to manage the intrusion in their lives related to violence, the ongoing health effects of violence, unwanted life changes, and the ‘costs of getting help’. The work is strength based and woman-led with areas such as safeguarding, managing basics, managing symptoms, regenerating family and renewing self addressed throughout the program based on the woman’s self identified priorities.

With reciprocity as a guide, staff accept the women’s interest in the program as a gift and in return pay good attention to their wisdom and vision in order to create an environment that will nourish wellness – spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally. In practice this looks like a program with both cultural and medical offerings.

Learning from Elders, Knowledge Holders, the land, one another and themselves women rebuild their bundles and kindle their inner fire through talking circles, storytelling, and special events in cultural offerings.

The disruption to mind & spirit caused by the experience of violence may show up in the stories the woman’s body tells (commonly referred to as ‘symptoms’) and so the weaving together of cultural and medical interventions for support & empowerment of each woman as a whole person is essential.