CALL FOR ABSTRACTS
Abstract submission is now open!
The 9th Healing Our Spirit Worldwide (HOSW) brings together thousands of Indigenous leaders
and health care professionals from around the world to share and celebrate the healing power
of traditional Indigenous knowledge and cultures. The Gathering will be held from September 11 to
15, 2023 in Vancouver, Canada.
- Showcase how Indigenous people have control of their health, healing and wellness that is
based on their culture, practices, and languages.
- Provide a safe space for social and intellectual discussion, and for Indigenous leaders to
work together on challenges about Indigenous health, healing and wellness.
- Provide participants with an opportunity to partake in different Indigenous ceremonies,
culture and presentations.
The HOSW Is pleased to announce the call for submissions for the 2023 Gathering for the
- Workshops: 55 minutes total – 40 minute interactive presentation; 15 minutes for
- Oral Presentations: 20 minutes total – 15 minute presentation and 5 minutes for questions.
- Poster Presentation: Abstract represented in poster format.
- Digital Poster Presentations: Abstract presented in a 3-5 minute pre-recorded digital
Call for Abstract Submissions Opens
April 30, 2022
Call for Abstract Submissions Closes
September 30, 2022 Midnight (PST)
Notification of Acceptance
November 15, 2022
December 15, 2022
September 11 – 15, 2023
Any late submissions will not be considered. Only online submissions made through the submission site will be considered.
“Resiliency through Indigenous Teachings, Celebrating Wellness,
Health Governance and Nation-Building”
A. Celebrating Health and Wellness
Indigenous communities have self-determined perspectives of health and well-being that
are strength-based. Mental, emotional, spiritual and physical facets are important for a
healthy, well and balanced life. It is critically important that there is balance between
these aspects of wellness and that they are all nurtured together to create a holistic level
of well-being in which all four areas are strong and healthy.
B. Indigenous Healing, Culture, Teachings and Wellness
Indigenous healing, culture and teaching, support Indigenous people in protecting,
incorporating, and promoting their Indigenous medicines and practices, recognizes the
complexity and diversity of Indigenous ways of learning and teaching, and Indigenous
C. Health Innovation and Transformation
Health innovation is to develop new or improved health policies, systems, products and
technologies, and services and delivery methods that improve Indigenous health.
Health transformations is changing a system that improves health status and quality of
care, and decreases health care costs. The transformation must be evidence-based, and
supports patient-centre collaborative care within an integrated health care system.
D. Wellness and Healing Together – A Trauma-Informed Approach
A trauma-informed approach begins with understanding the physical, social, and
emotional impact of trauma on the individual, as well as on the professionals who help them. The intention of Trauma-Informed Care is not to treat symptoms or issues related to sexual, physical or emotional abuse or any other form of trauma but rather to provide
support services in a way that is accessible and appropriate to those who may have experienced trauma.
E. Community Strengths and Resilience
Community strengths and resilience is the ability of communities to withstand, adapt to,
and recover from adversity. The community uses its assets to strengthen public health
and healthcare systems and to improve the community’s physical, behavioral, and
social health to withstand, adapt to, and recover from adversity. This steam includes
women, early childhood, LGBTQIA2S+ or any other Indigenous target groups.
Presentations will be based on a health and wellness stream and focus on one of the
- Health Promotion, Prevention, Education and Awareness
Programs aimed to engage and empower individuals and communities to choose
healthy behaviors, and make changes that reduce the risk of developing chronic
diseases and other morbidities.
- Research, Data, Information and Knowledge Exchange
Research, data, and knowledge exchange encompass meaningful and respectful ways
of gathering and sharing knowledge that helps leaders and planners strengthen the
health and wellness of Indigenous Peoples.
- Program Development, Implementation and Evaluation:
Health program planning and evaluation includes everything from assessing needs,
setting goals and objectives, planning activities, implementation, and measuring
outcomes. It shows how your program planning and evaluation met its objectives,
involved its stakeholders and community members, and the impact it had on the health
of your community members.
- Mental Health, Healing and Wellness Programs that promote culturally safe, comprehensive, and coordinated continuum of mental health, healing and wellness approaches that affirms, facilitates and restores the mental health, healing and wellness of Indigenous people. Mental health and wellness is a continuum of care that brings together the best of traditional and cultural approaches with western approaches and encompasses a range of fully integrated programs and services.
- Substance Use and Addictions Innovative and evidence-informed projects addressing problematic substance use prevention, harm reduction and treatment initiatives. The focus could focus on psychoactive substances, including opioids, stimulants, cannabis, alcohol, nicotine and tobacco at the community, regional and national levels.
- Youth (16 to 29) Indigenous youth are acting together toward creating the change they seek. Their strengths as youth lie in their willingness to take risks, resilience, energy, creative mindset, cultural knowledge, and ability to engage with other youth, capacity to learn and try new ideas, proficiency with technology, as well as their strong social networks. Supporting the youth within our communities in essential to ensuring the sustainability of our health and wellbeing for future generations.
- Elders (65+) Indigenous Elders support their communities by sharing the knowledge that they have accumulated over a lifetime, while preserving traditions, cultural and social values. Elders hold the wisdom of past generations, and are essential to ensuring the healthy, vital, and strength of our Nations.
Supports strong health governance at all levels, which is necessary to ensure that resources
devoted to the health programs and services adequate access to health care and improved
health. Promotes governance that is carried out efficiently, effectively, and equitably,
responsive and sustainable health services and has led to positive health outcomes.
Presentations will be based on Health Governance and Leadership Stream and focus
on one of the following themes:
- Health Leadership
Focuses on: strategic leadership (how to inspire a vision as a leader), leading and
managing change (principles and tools need to facilitate change in health care), develop
and leading high-performing teams (key components and tools for developing and
leading a high-performing team), or tools for impact and influence (such as leadership
development action plan).
- Health Governance
Promoting Indigenous peoples exercising and having full enjoyment of their rights to self-
determination and self-government, including developing, maintaining and implementing
their own institutions, laws, governing bodies, and political, economic and social
structures related to Indigenous communities.
An official definition of “Indigenous” has not been adopted by the United Nations because of the diversity of Indigenous people. Instead they have developed a modern understanding of
this term based on the following:
- Self-identification as Indigenous peoples at the individual level and accepted by the
community as their member.
- Historical continuity with pre-colonial and/or pre-settler societies.
- Strong link to territories and surrounding natural resources.
- Distinct social, economic or political systems.
- Distinct language, culture and beliefs.
- From non-dominant groups of society.
- Resolve to maintain and reproduce their ancestral environments and systems as
distinctive peoples and communities. 1
Any Indigenous person who fits under this modern understanding of “Indigenous” can be a presenter at HOSW 2023.
- The proposed lead presenter must be an Indigenous person.
- Submissions must fit into one stream and one theme. Duplicate submissions will be
a basis for automatic rejection.
- Abstracts exceeding the maximum length of 250 words will not be considered and must
be submitted online in PDF Form.
- Abstracts will be published exactly as submitted. No copyediting will be provided by the
HOSW 2023. Submitters are responsible for thoroughly reviewing their submission and
ensuring accuracy before submission (no edits/updates).
- Up to two images and/or tables are permitted (file formats: JPG, PNG, BMP). Image
content/text and captions do not count towards word limit.
- The submitter will serve as the primary contact for all correspondence regarding the
abstract during the submission process. After an abstract is accepted, the presenting
author will serve as the primary contact.
- Use only standard abbreviations. Special or unusual abbreviations should be placed in
parentheses after the first appearance of the full word.
- The presentation will be conducted in English.
- Abstracts should be structured with subheadings to clearly display the required sections.
- Presenters submitting abstracts are responsible for ensuring that all authors listed on the
abstract have been notified of the submission.
- Copyright issues: All Speakers must cite original sources of work (research, written
materials, quotes, pictures, charts, graphs, videos, etc.) in their presentation that the
Speaker did not create or author. It is your responsibility to seek permission to use the
- Consent: If the Speaker wishes to use personal information or community information
(personal stories, experiences from a particular community, customs, traditions, etc.) the
Speaker must have the individual and/or community’s consent. It is your responsibility to
get consent to use this information.
All proposals will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
- Potential to stimulate discussion and learning
- Clarity and impact of the project
- Potential for the idea/innovation to be sustained and spread
- Alignment with Gather Streams and sub-themes
- Consideration of sex, gender, and diversity as part of the work
- Overall quality and clarity of the abstract
- HOSW will email about the abstract submission to the primary presenter, who is
responsible for distributing information to the other authors or co-authors.
- If an applicant accepts and offer to present, but is later unable to attend, they must
provide the name of the alternate speaker who is a co-author on the original abstract or
the presentation will be withdrawn from the program. Note that the co-author must be of
- All presenters must register for the conference and pay their registration fee by March
31, 2023 and must attend the 2023 HOSW in Vancouver, Canada.
- Presenters are responsible for all costs for their presentation, own conference
registration fees and travel expenses.
- All presentations not received by the deadline will be removed from the program.
Moderator and Technical Assistant: Each session will have a Moderator who will introduce the presentation title, ask the presenter(s) to briefly introduce themselves, and moderate the Q & A at the end of the session. In addition, a Technical Assistant will be present during the entire presentation to assist in the running of the session.
Presentation Slides: Please submit your presentation slides by Wednesday August 16, 2023 for testing and upload onto the conference platform. Only PowerPoint slides in 16:9 format will be accepted. All presentations are required to begin with Learning Objectives slides.
Timing: Please keep to the time allotted. The Session Moderator will warn you at the 5- minute and 1-minute remaining marks approaching end of session. Presentations are not permitted to run into the allotted Q & A time.
B. Oral Presentations Format: Digital Oral Presentations are a total of 30-minutes (a 20-minute presentation plus a group Q & A). Moderator and Technical Assistant: Each session will have a Moderator who will introduce the presentation title and moderate the Q & A at the end of the session. In addition, a Technical Assistant will be present during the entire presentation to assist in the running of the session.
Presentation Videos & Slides: Please submit your presentation video and slides by Wednesday August 16, 2023 for testing and upload onto the conference platform. Only PowerPoint slides in 16:9 format will be accepted. All presentations are required to begin with Learning Objectives slides.
Timing: Please keep to the time allotted. Videos running longer than 20-minutes will not be accepted.
C. Poster Presentations Format: Accepted posters may not exceed 6 feet by 3 feet.
Session Delivery: Poster Presentations will be displayed on Level One of the Conference Centre. At least one author of accepted poster abstracts must be present at their posters (virtually or in-person) during an assigned session to allow for dialogue with participants. Poster sessions may run concurrently with other sessions.
Presentation Videos & Slides: Please submit your presentation video and slides by Wednesday August 16, 2023 for testing and upload onto the conference platform. Only PowerPoint slides in 16:9 format will be accepted.
Timing: Please keep to the time allotted. Videos running longer than 3-minutes will not be accepted.
D. Digital Poster Presentations Digital Posters will be displayed on one of the conference dates. Recommended times for poster viewing include: During breakfast, lunch, and at breaks.
Format: Digital Poster Presentations are a total of 3-minutes (a 3-minute pre-recorded presentation only).
Session Delivery: Digital Poster Presentations will be posted as a pre-recorded video to attendees in the virtual poster hall of the conference platform. Presentation Videos & Slides: Please submit your presentation video and slides by Wednesday August 16, 2023 for testing and upload onto the conference platform. Only PowerPoint slides in 16:9 format will be accepted. Timing: Please keep to the time allotted. Videos running longer than 3-minutes will not be accepted.
The Ninth Gathering 2023 schedule will be available shortly. Check back regularly for updates.