TORONTO | Traditional territory of many nations, including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples, and now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples — The David Suzuki Foundation and the National Healing Forests Initiative are thrilled to announce the availability of grants to support the expansion of Healing Forests throughout Canada. These grants will support community groups’ efforts to establish local green spaces that promote reconciliation, rewilding and healing.

Healing Forests are intended to honour the victims and survivors of residential schools and provide a way for individuals and communities to reflect on the country’s tragic past, connect with nature and each other and begin their own journeys toward healing. The Foundation will be providing up to 10 grants to communities in Canada that are committed to establishing Healing Forests.

“Despite these traumatic times in many of Canada’s forests, we are hoping to bring some hope and healing by helping to establish more Healing Forests,” said Jode Roberts, manager of the Rewilding Communities program at the Foundation. “We received an overwhelming response last year, which confirms the need for these green spaces. We hope that these new Healing Forests will create a ripple effect of healing and positive change throughout Canada.”

All Healing Forests projects are created through meaningful relationships with Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. The NHFI was founded by Patricia Stirbys, a member of Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan and specialist in Indigenous Relations, and retired geologist Peter Croal in 2015 following the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report. Since then, the NHFI has grown to include forests from Lumby, B.C. all the way to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

“By establishing a Healing Forest, we hope to bring people together, help them reflect on this country’s tragic past and connect with nature and each other,” said Stirbys. “We are grateful to have the David Suzuki Foundation as our partner in this important initiative.”

The deadline to apply for funding is July 17, 2023.

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Learn more about Healing Forests and/or apply for a grant.

For more information or media interviews, please contact:

Stefanie Carmichael:, 437-221-4692

The David Suzuki Foundation ( | @DavidSuzukiFdn) is a leading Canadian environmental non-profit organization, founded in 1990. We operate in English and French, with offices in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. We collaborate with all people in Canada, including First Nations leadership and communities, governments, businesses and individuals to find solutions to create a sustainable Canada through scientific research, traditional ecological knowledge, communications and public engagement, and innovative policy and legal solutions. Our mission is to protect nature’s diversity and the well-being of all life, now and for the future.

The National Healing Forests Initiative ( aims to create a network of forests and green spaces across Canada where Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples can come together in the spirit of reconciliation to heal, reflect, meditate, talk, share and build respect and understanding as a result of the residential school legacy and findings of the National Truth and Reconciliation report.