Braiding The Sweetgrass

Submitted on Thursday, 01/09/2020 - 5:34 am

About Braiding the Sweetgrass 

Braiding the Sweetgrass is a program supporting Indigenous families in Calgary to help understand and interrupt the transmission of intergenerational trauma to their children and future generations. Participating families are guided on their journey to a place of well-being through honoring traditional Indigenous and Western ways of knowing and being. Families experience culture, community, and reconnection on their healing journey.

Are you an Indigenous family and looking for something to do together to promote healing? This program might be just the right thing!

Who This Program Supports

This program works with urban Indigenous families with children (Grade 1 to Grade 12), their parents and siblings who are:

  • Searching for information and/or a connection to Indigenous culture
  • Open to gaining knowledge about Intergenerational trauma and its impacts on Indigenous families
  • Wanting to establish better community connections and gain a support network.
  • Not experiencing acute crisis, (i.e., domestic violence, active addictions, child abuse, homelessness) at the time of intake

Our Approach

Initial participation in the Foundations session takes place over four months and includes two groups per month, home visits, cultural ceremonies, advocacy, and Elder support.

Following the completion of the initial, foundational experience, families are encouraged to move forward in their pursuit of well-being, alongside other past participants, in a continuing community.

Participation includes drop-in gatherings focused on a deeper understanding of the learnings they have experienced in Foundations and continued access to the Elders and Knowledge Keepers. As well, those remaining in connection to Braiding the Sweetgrass receive further advocacy and support from the facilitators.

Braiding the Sweetgrass recognizes that our Elders are traditional wisdom keepers and the protectors of sacred knowledge and traditional protocol. We believe that culture is healing, and when combined with western therapeutic models, families are given knowledge and tools for change. Those continuing are empowered to take the next steps for their healing and encouraged to bring their own gifts to their newfound community.

Committed to Excellence 

Braiding the Sweetgrass was given its name in ceremony by Elders. When there is a naming, there is a responsibility to uphold the spirit or essence in it.

The name captures its essence in that, like a braid of Sweetgrass with three strands and many blades of grass creating strength in the braid, the program builds strength in the family by encouraging connection with each other, reconnection with their community, and with their culture. A traditional name essentially offers a sense of strength and belonging.

More than a program, Braiding the Sweetgrass is an “experience”.

Program facilitators:

  • Guided by a diverse group of traditional Elders and Knowledge Keepers, create brave spaces for lifelong learning and meaningful connection for families seeking wellness
  • Are from diverse professional backgrounds and Indigenous communities
  • Each rich with their own cultural teachings and healing journey’s, come to their work from a place of lived experience and knowing
  • Receive and maintain Agency core trainings such as Therapeutic Crisis Intervention, First Aid, Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training and Food Safety
  • Approach their work with a trauma-informed lens

How to Access the Program

To inquire about the upcoming cycle or to make referrals to Braiding the Sweetgrass, you can connect with us at directly by calling or emailing Peter Daniels, Program Facilitator at 587-438-5428 or


Read about the impact Braiding the Sweetgrass has in the community

Connections to Culture, Community and Healing

Click to read

For more information

Hull Services acknowledges these organizations for their generous support of Braiding the Sweetgrass.