Indigenous Initiatives Speakers Series: Rod Jeffries

The UBC Faculty of Medicine’s Office of Respectful Environments, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (REDI) presents:

Healing Our Spirit: Enduring the work of Grief, Hope, Truth & Reconciliation in our Communities



This event is part of the Indigenous Initiatives Speakers Series.

Healing Our Spirit Worldwide is a movement that was created as a covenant ‘to work in unity and with resolve to strengthen and heal the spirit of our peoples.’ Rod Jeffries was a founding member of this movement and has committed his entire career to helping and inspiring Indigenous peoples in Canada and around the world to find our voice, strengthen our resolve, and fill our hearts and minds with the confidence of our Ancestors. This session will consider the enduring work of coming to terms with an individual and collective grief in our communities. Indigenous peoples in Canada are simultaneously dealing with the past and charged with the urgency to find a way forward towards a better future. A future that is based on the promise of hope, speaking our truth and creating the opportunity for true reconciliation among our own people.



Rod Jeffries

Rod Jeffries is Wakenyahten (Turtle Clan) of the Kanyen’keha:ka Niwakitaro:ten (Mohawk) residing at home on the Kenhte:ke Nitewake:non (Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, Ontario, Canada.) For the past 36 years, he has worked in the fields of substance abuse, healing, wellness and treatment as manager, workshop trainer/facilitator, program developer and evaluator. Rod is an international speaker/trainer having presented in Australia, New Zealand, USA, and Europe. In the past 25 years his efforts have focused on the development & delivery of programs and staff for working with survivors of trauma, cultural oppression, sexual abuse and residential/boarding schools. In recent years, Rod has become well known for his work on trauma, shame and lateral violence across Canada and in New Zealand.

He is the chairperson of the International Indigenous Council for Healing Our Spirit Worldwide. Rod’s involvement with HOSW began in 1991 prior to the First Gathering in Edmonton, Alberta in 1992. He remains involved today in the preparation for the next Gathering in Vancouver in 2023.

In recent years, Rod’s efforts have focused on addressing issues directly related to trauma, historic trauma, abandonment, shame & lateral violence through the utilization of our strengths, resilience, compassion and the cultural systems that sustained us for thousands of years. In the past eight years he has concentrated on developing trauma-based addictions programs to assist communities in their healing initiatives. He has recently developed facilitator training programs on lateral violence and healing trauma to share his messages and techniques for Indigenous people to rebuild those systems in today’s context.


For more information and to join this virtual event, visit the FoM REDI’s event page.