Indigenous Wellness Framework

The IWF is a foundational framework that was developed by Elders and Knowledge Keepers who shared their understanding of what wellness is from an Indigenous point of view.


Mental wellness is a balance of the mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional. This balance is enriched as people have:

  • HOPE for their future and those of their families that is grounded in a sense of identity, unique Indigenous values, and having a belief in spirit;
  • a sense of BELONGING and connectedness within their families, to community, and to culture;
  • MEANING and an understanding of how their lives and those of their families and communities are part of creation and a rich history
  • and finally, a sense of PURPOSE in their daily lives whether it is through education, employment, care-giving activities, or cultural ways of being and doing;

If you’d like to read more about the IWF here’s a link to the IWF Reference Guide.

The IWF provides tangible ways we can connect with our culture and wellness. For example, we can connect spiritually and emotionally to culture by offering prayer or participating in ceremony.