The Ninth gathering 2023

About the Gathering


Healing Our Spirit Worldwide (HOSW) brings together thousands of Indigenous leaders and health care professionals worldwide to share and celebrate the healing power of traditional Indigenous knowledge and cultures. 

The gathering features presentations and cultural performances, healing activities, and entertainment by Indigenous performers.

This international event is held every four years. In 2023, it will be held in Vancouver, British Columbia, ​on the Coast Salish territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleilwaututh Nations. These are three of more than 200 First Nations in British Columbia – home to one of the world’s most diverse assemblies of living Indigenous cultures.​​​

The gathering is an opportunity for original peoples who have a history of colonial impact to share knowledge, wisdom, learning, and experiences. These new and old teachings will foster relationships, understandings, and new opportunities – and in doing so they will reinforce our resilience as Indigenous peoples.​

Event Host​s

The First Nations Health Auth​​ority

The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) is the only Indigenous province-wide health authority in Canada. In 2013 it assumed responsibility for the health programs and services formerly handled by the federal government for First Nations people living in the province of British Columbia.

The FNHA’s vision is to transform the health and well-being of BC’s Indigenous people. This vision is centred on wellness – rather than illness – and on exploring what wellness means to the First Nations people the organization serves. It is an ambitious vision that has generated interest around the world, and so the FNHA is proud to host Healing Our Spirit Worldwide.

The International Indigenous Council for ​HOSW​

The International Indigenous Council for Healing our Spirit Worldwide (IICHOSW) is the governance body that provides support, guidance and advice to the hosts of Healing Our Spirit Worldwide.

The Council has developed the following statement of beliefs:

  • We, as Indigenous peoples, control our own health and healing institutions that are based on our culture and traditions, and languages
  • Our culture, traditions, stories, and spirituality must form the foundation of the HOSW Movement Community is the catalyst for change
  • The circle will grow through compassion, respect, love, and commitment Indigenous peoples must take control of, and implement our own research
  • Indigenous peoples from developing countries must be supported through planning and ongoing involvement in the HOSW Movement
  • All members of our communities must be involved in each Gathering in a meaningful way that meets their needs as participants in the circle of life
  • Political leadership must be involved in the Movement to help lead the promotion of healthy lifestyles free of substance abuse
  • Working together with conference partners is the only way to manage and implement a successful Gathering

These beliefs form the foundation for our principles and values:

Inclusiveness: we will make every effort to include Indigenous Nations around the world in the Movement

Diversity: We respect the diversity of Indigenous Peoples everywhere

Respect: we respect the culture, the traditions, the values, and beliefs of Indigenous peoples worldwide

Working Together: we work together in the spirit of cooperation and healing

Sharing: we promote the sharing of programs, ideas, and information on the health and healing of Indigenous peoples

Reciprocity: we are committed to the giving and sharing but also to the obligation of receiving the ideas, cultures, and beliefs of all Indigenous People worldwide​​