Foundation Executive Director, Julie Cookson and Director of Special Projects, Michael Milward tour the new building site.

Reflecting on 2022 at Anishnawbe Health Foundation 

Thank you to all of the donors, partners and volunteers who supported the work of Anishnawbe Health in 2022. 

With your support, we were able to accomplish so much in the past year. With our monthly donors, we started our Sweetgrass Reading Circle – where we read and discussed books such as Unreconciled: Family, Truth, and Indigenous Resistance, The Firekeeper’s Daughter, and Five Little Indians. We were especially fortunate to feature special guest appearances from authors Cherie Dimaline and Jesse Wente. 

With leading support from Green Shield Canada, the Wisdom Weavers Storytelling series launched. Featuring Elders and Healers from across Turtle Island, the online series has created a library of eleven teachings to date focused on supporting mental resilience and spiritual health as we come out of the pandemic. 


Elder and Traditional Healer Cynthia (Cindy) White, Traditional Policy Analyst, Anishnawbe Health Toronto

For Ceremony. For Life:  New Position at Anishnawbe Health is helping preserve Traditional Healing Practices for the Future  

Elder and Traditional Healer Cynthia (Cindy) White was born into the Mohawk community of Akwesasne and is Onondaga Snipe Clan. Her Mohawk name given at birth was Kawennanoron, which translates to ‘Precious Words.’ Kawennanoron was aptly named as she has been given the important work of researching and documenting Traditional Healing services, ceremonies, and medicines that will in turn be respectfully shared with the larger Indigenous community. Cindy’s work is vitally important given that the community’s healing practices and traditional knowledge systems were eroded when governments sought to ban and outlaw traditional medicine practices and ceremonies.  

Cindy started her work at Anishnawbe Health Toronto in July 2022 as the Traditional Policy Analyst, a two-day per week position funded by generous donor support. However, her journey into medicine began many years ago when she attended the State University of New York at Plattsburgh where she studied nursing and received a Bachelor of Science degree. After meeting her teacher, Diane Longboat, Cindy did not stay in nursing long.


Rachael Leduc, Client, Anishnawbe Health Toronto

Client Profile: Rachael's Story

For Rachael Leduc, Anishnawbe Health Toronto can be described as a great, old tree deeply rooted in Mother Earth. Rachael, who grew up in Northern Ontario disconnected from her Indigenous culture, always felt a spiritual pull towards Mother Earth and creation.   

Rachael, who has suffered from panic attacks and PTSD, has been a client of Anishnawbe Health for years.  

“The mental health counselling I receive at Anishnawbe Health helps me to deal with all that life has thrown at me. I have learned to navigate rough waters, to slow down – to cope with stress and anxiety. These are gifts I am extremely grateful to Anishnawbe Health for,” says Rachael.  

The cultural programming at Anishnawbe Health connected Rachael to sacred teachings, provided access to ceremonies, and helped her grow spiritually, deepening Rachael’s knowledge and appreciation for her ancestry and Indigeneity. Today, Rachael shares these teachings with her children and grandchild.   


Calling all Sweetgrass Monthly Giving Circle Donors 

In 2022, our Sweetgrass Monthly Giving Circle grew to more than 250 dedicated supporters. We appreciate these vital monthly gifts, and in the spirit of reciprocity we invite our monthly donors to participate in the Sweetgrass Reading Circle, an event exclusive to our community of monthly gift givers. 

The Sweetgrass Reading Circle is a free, quarterly gathering dedicated to discussing the thematic elements of books by Indigenous authors to foster learning and understanding of Indigenous resilience, cultures, and ultimately, truth and reconciliation. 

Our book this quarter is Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice. Moon of the Crusted Snow is a thriller set in a rural community of post-apocalyptic Canada during a societal collapse. The story follows an Anishnaabe man and his wife raising their children in a community that becomes cut off from the rest of the world. 

Interested in this event but not a monthly donor? Become a member of the Sweetgrass Circle HERE or contact jmanning@aht.ca for more information.   



225 Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario M5A 1S4     |    416-657-0379 X 232    |     foundation@aht.ca





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