indigenous Women

Like the earth itself, Indigenous women need supports to heal from colonial violence and thrive. During the COVID-19 pandemic, these supports have been reduced or removed altogether. In some cases, access to Elders and counselling was completely cut-off for a period of time.


“[COVID] has created so many emotional and mental health issues for myself … I can’t even explain how profound this experience has been. There has been an onset of loneliness, depression and then trying to take care of myself when you can’t do it in a holistic manner.”

Indigenous women described shifting into survival mode and decreasing the prioritization of themselves as they are often caretakers of the family and community and carry the responsibility of ensuring everyone else is safe and taken care of.


“… your family comes to you looking for support. Keeping myself – the grandmother – strong to be able to support them, I have to keep in a good frame of mind to help and advise them, to help them through becoming mothers and looking for work, they’re interviewing and doing them via zoom so guiding them on that… I have to stay strong for them and keep myself healthy – [it is a] big torch, carrying it, and [I have] got to stay strong.”


“My spiritual wellness is a bit stronger these days, maybe because I’m calling on my ancestors more, for their strength and protection of everyone around us.”

Indigenous women also spoke about the ways they are able to connect more with spiritual wellness, such as through land-based trauma healing, teachings from gardening, harvesting traditional medicine, smudging, grounding themselves through hobbies at home, and digging deep into the ancestral and spiritual parts of themselves.


This gift from women and Two-Spirit people is not given lightly but is a gift with a responsibility to carry these seeds forward and plant them within the different systems that need to flourish to meet the needs and rights of Indigenous women.

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