Mick Gooda (Australia)

Mick Gooda’s people are the Ghungalu from the Dawson Valley in Central Queensland. He has spent the last 30 years advocating for the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. He was appointed the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner in February 2010 and held that position until September 2016 when he was appointed Co-Commissioner on the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory.

He has undertaken work a wide range of roles such as the CEO of the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health, Native Title Consultant with the Western Australian Aboriginal Legal Service and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, ATSIC.

He chaired the Queensland Stolen Wages Reparation Taskforce and the National Centre of Indigenous Genomics and has been a member of the Expert Panel and the Referendum Council which were convened to advised the Federal Government on the Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the Australian constitution.

More recently, he was a Co-Chair of the Queensland First Children and Families Board which is tasked with the overseeing reforms to reduce the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the child protection and youth detention systems and Co-Chaired the Treaty Advancement Committee which recommended the next steps in the Queensland treaty and truth telling process.

Sue-Anne Hunter (Australia)

Sue-Anne Hunter is a proud Wurundjeri and Ngurai Illum Wurrung woman and the Deputy Chair and Commissioner of Australia’s first truth telling process – the Yoorrook Justice Commission.

She is an Adjunct Professor of Global and Engagement at Federation University and a member of the National Centre for Reconciliation, Truth, and Justice Advisory Board.

A child and family services practitioner by trade, Sue-Anne has over twenty years’ clinical experience responding to developmental, transgenerational and community trauma.

She is widely recognized for developing rights-based, transformative practice responses that empower Aboriginal people to heal from the continuing effects and processes of colonization.

Sue-Anne has extensive experience in the governance and the leadership of Aboriginal community-controlled organizations, and her expertise is regularly sought for government inquiries, parliamentary and ministerial advisory committees, academic research projects and media interviews.

Dr. Sheri-Ann Daniels (Hawaii)

Dr. Sheri-Ann Daniels is the Chief Executive Officer of Papa Ola Lokahi, the Native Hawaiian health board responsible for the federal act regarding health and well-being for Native Hawaiians in Hawai’i and within the US.

Born and raised on Maui, Dr. Sheri-Ann Daniels is a graduate of the Kamehameha Schools – Kapālama campus. She holds degrees in the field of counseling psychology and has several license certifications.  She has more than 25 years of experience in social services programs across Hawai’i in both the non-profit and government sectors. 

She has been recognized with various awards over the years for her work within her communities. Beginning in early 2020, Sheri shared co-leadership for the Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander Hawaii COVID-19 Response, Recovery & Resilience Team (NHPI 3R), for which Papa Ola Lōkahi served as the backbone organization.  Committed to meeting the needs of our community through public policy and strategic partnerships, she was named among the Pacific Business News’ 2022 Women Who Mean Business. 

Sheri continues to make Maui her home with her ‘ohana (husband, 4 children and extended family). She is also a cultural practitioner in Ho’oponopono.


Chelsey Luger and Anthony Thosh Collins (United States)

Chelsey Luger is Lakota and Anishinaabe, an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa. Thosh Collins is Onk Akimel O’odham, Wahzhazhe, and Seneca-Cayuga, a citizen of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. They are trainers for the Native Wellness Institute and co-founders of Well For Culture, a grassroots initiative which focuses on reclaiming healthy, balanced lifestyles through ancestral knowledge and Indigenous ideologies. Their book, The Seven Circles: Indigenous Teachings for Living Well (2022, HarperOne), is available everywhere books are sold. Chelsey & Thosh reside in O’odham territory (Arizona), and are the proud parents of Alo (5) and Westyn (2).

Riana Manuel (Aotearoa/New Zealand)

Riana is the Chief Executive, Te Aka Whai Ora, Māori Health Authority Ngāti Pukenga, Ngāti Maru, Ngāti Kahungunu.

Riana is a skilled, strategic, and visionary leader within the Māori and health sectors and has extensive experience leading Kaupapa Māori organisations. Before joining Te Aka Whai Ora – Māori Health Authority as its founding Chief Executive, Riana was Chief Executive of Hauraki Primary Health Organisation and Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki. 

Riana is a registered nurse by profession and has enjoyed a career that has seen her work in many areas of the health sector.

Riana is committed to improving the health and wellbeing of Māori and believes in doing so, will impact positively on the health and wellbeing of Aotearoa.


Healing Our Spirit Worldwide (HOSW) – The Ninth Gathering is being held in Vancouver and will bring together Indigenous people from around the world. The event will be held at the Vancouver Convention Centre and we are expecting approximately 5000 people.  The theme is “celebrating resiliency”, which honours our Indigenous teachings and explores wellness, governance, and self-determination.


Monday September 11

  • Opening Ceremonies
  • Official Welcoming by xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) People
  • Ticketed Dinner

Tuesday September 12

  • Hosted by Vancouver Island and Australian Indigenous Delegation
  • Health Governance and Leader Plenary Panel
  • Australian Indigenous Guest Speaker
  • Health Governance and Leadership Plenary Panel and Guest Speakers
  • Australian Indigenous Guest Speakers – Mick Gooda and Sue Anne Hunter

Wednesday September 13

  • Hosted by Northern BC, United States Indigenous Delegation
  • Health Innovation and Transformation Plenary Panel
  • United States Indigenous Guest Speaker, Chelsey Luger and Anthony Thosh Collins
  • Hawaiian Indigenous Guest Speaker, Dr. Sheri-Ann Daniels

Thursday September 14

  • Hosted by Interior BC and Aotearoa (New Zealand) Indigenous Delegation
  • Community Strength and Resilience Plenary Panel
  • Aotearoa Guest Speaker, Riana Manuel

Friday September 15

  • Hosted by Fraser Salish and Hawaiian Delegation
  • Indigenous Youth and Elder Panel
  • Indigenous Youth and Elder Speakers
  • Closing Ceremonies

Health and Wellness Streams


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 wholistic level of well-being in which all four areas are strong and healthy. 

Indigenous Healing, Culture, Teachings and Wellness

Indigenous healing, culture, and teaching, support Indigenous people in protecting, incorporating, and promoting their Indigenous medicines and practices, recognizing the complexity and diversity of Indigenous ways of learning and teaching, and Indigenous worldview. 

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 are 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-centred collaborative care within an integrated health care system.

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.

Community Strength and Resilience

Community strength 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, behavioural, and social health to withstand, adapt to, and recover from adversity.   This stream includes women, early childhood, 2SLGBTQQIA+ or any other Indigenous target groups.

Presentations will be based on a health and wellness stream and focus on one of the following themes:

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/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 (i.e. 16 to 29 years old)

This theme is meant to highlight youth-led initiatives and innovative work with Indigenous youth to better serve their needs, priorities, and resilience. Indigenous youth are encouraged to apply and present. Supporting youth within our communities is essential to ensuring the health and well-being of current and future generations of our Indigenous communities.

Elders (i.e. 65 years and older)

This theme is meant to highlight Elder led initiatives and innovative work with Indigenous Elders to better support their needs, priorities and resilience. Indigenous Elders are encouraged to apply and present. Elders hold wisdom, experience and teachings and are essential to supporting the strength, traditions and social values of our Indigenous communities.

Health Governance and Leadership Stream

Supports strong health governance at all levels, which is necessary to ensure that resources devoted to health programs and services provide 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.


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