The Traditional Counsellor’s primary role is to coordinate and deliver all aspects of the traditional and cultural activities offered in the Nelson House Medicine Lodge programs.  They will work directly with clients in the residential and outpatient treatment programs.  The Traditional Counsellor will work collaboratively with staff and community partners so they may help their clients begin to understand how the cultural teachings and ceremonies serve as a foundation for their personal healing and recovery.

Duties And Responsibilities:

  • Work as an integral part of the treatment and prevention teams; assisting the Counsellors in the development of holistic assessments and healing plans that encompasses traditional values, beliefs and practices
  • Attends all staff meetings and functions
  • Facilitate cultural workshops
  • Conduct a pipe ceremony during intake week and at all graduation ceremonies.
  • Maintain an inventory record of cloth, prints, tobacco, and other ceremonial supplies
  • Engage the help of clients and staff, to maintain an adequate supply of wood and rocks for the sweat lodge and fasting camps, and in preparation for the winter months.
  • With the help of clients, set up camp prior to the fasting camp or winter camp.
  • Each summer, select treatment staff and clients to assist in the harvesting of medicines needed for the year.
  • Get involved in the strategic planning process and attend the group meetings as per accreditation standards.
  • Adhere and abide by the Nelson House Medicine Lodge policies and procedures.
  • Work on evenings and weekends on a rotation basis with other members on the treatment team.
  • Liaison with community partners in health and wellness initiatives, e.g. (Family & Community Wellness Centre, elementary school and high school, Justice, etc.) that involve NHML clientele
  • Participate in the planning of NHML activities and fundraising efforts.
  • Assist in program evaluations and studies.
  • Other duties assigned from time to time.

Knowledge, Abilities And Skills:

The Traditional Counsellor requires an individual with extensive knowledge and experience of the traditional Indigenous way of life and spiritual practices.  This person must be fluent in an Indigenous language, preferably Cree; and ability to read and write in English, and have respect for others’ teachings. They must be willing to expand and improve present knowledge and experience as it relates to traditional teachings and/or ceremonies that may benefit clients in their healing from the harms of addiction and mental health.   Must possess a valid minimum Class 5 driver’s license.

Education And Experience:

This position is unique in that it requires a person who is knowledgeable in the Indigenous and Western worldviews. They must demonstrate a good working knowledge of traditional healing practices, natural plant medicines, teachings and be able to conduct healing ceremonies that will aid our clientele in their recovery from trauma, substance use and mental health disorders, and withdrawal from substances.   Successful candidate must have a minimum of 5 years of experience working directly with clients and their families afflicted with mental health and/or substance use disorders.

Salary Range:

Negotiable pending qualifications and experience


Treatment Director


December 30, 2021

People selected for this position must be an abstainer of alcohol, cannabis & illegal drugs for at least 5 years. An understanding of Aboriginal culture & the ability to speak Cree is an asset.

Please submit a current criminal record check along with your resume and three references.


Marilyn Linklater, Executive Director

Phone (204) 484-2256

Fax (204) 484-2016