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Urban Indigenous Foundation of HOPE and PEACE for Wellness

Home of the Earth Walkers

Home of the Earth Walkers.  This wellness center will be the first of its kind.  It will be the First urban Indigenous Center in Halton.  Guided by Grandmother’s Voice and the Earthwalkers, the Urban Indigenous Folx of Halton are called to gather and build the vision of the space together 

Halton Urban indigenous Wellness Project in Partnership with Country Heritage Park began in February 2021

CEO Jamie Reaume, of Country Heritage Park understood the lack of identity surrounding Halton Region and area of its Indigenous population – one that is dramatically underserviced and ignored to respect its own culture and ways. At Country Heritage Park, remarkably, there has been a complete absence of any Indigenous presence – despite the fact that the original Ontario Agricultural Museum was established as a crossroads of rural and agriculture established between roughly the years 1820 to 1950. Remarkable in that there is nothing that recognizes the Indigenous way, medicinal, and practices anywhere on the 80-acres of land that sits on the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, Neutral, Huron-Wendat and Haudenosaunee.


But remembering, during this era of Truth and Reconciliation, is not what the project is about at its core. It is tapping into the old knowledge of Grandmother’s Voice, a collective of Indigenous women who utilize traditional means and methods and led to the creation of an Indigenous-led, woman-led Wellness Centre at Country Heritage Park – which will provide alternative treatments for all, a very inclusive approach, but one that will allow for the healing of the body, mind, and soul and spirit while connecting to the land.


Currently the property is preparing 3 Elements for developing from Indigenous-Led programing.  It was important for Jamie to provide not only space for Indigenous people to gather and practice culture, but he was confident that in conclusion of the COVID pandemic, that all people would have access to Indigenous Holistic approach to healing.  This will include a Healing/Medicine Garden, a Wellness Center, and a Community Garden.  All of these will be guided through Grandmother’s Voice and Indigenous Partner Organizations. 

Meet Our EarthWalkers

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Joanna Sparrow

Hi, my name is Joanna Sparrow. I’m a mom, wife, daughter, friend, nature lover, yoga teacher, karaoke enthusiast, front seat dancer, wannabe writer, lifelong learner, and an all-round curious soul. I come from a line of both Ukrainian immigrants and British settlers to Canada.

I have a great love and respect for Nature that I have nurtured from a young age, growing up next to a creek and having the luxury of field and forest outside my back gate. I believe it’s this love that over the years has guided me towards many Indigenous cultures, traditions, and knowledge.

I came to Grandmother’s Voice events and ceremonies to listen and to learn, never expecting that I would be fortunate enough to be a part of the incredible movement. I feel so grateful and honoured to be a part of this community of amazing people and the important and necessary work being done.


Shari O’Brien-Hasrouny.



My name is Shari O’Brien-Hasrouny. I am Missanabie Cree First Nations Treaty 9 currently residing on the Traditional lands of Huron-Wendat, Neutral, Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabeg and The Mississaugas.

As the great-grandaughter and grand-daughter of residential school survivors growing up there was no mention of culture, tradition, ceremony, food, or language.


I feel my Ancestors guided me in some way to Grandmother’s Voice, while watching Halton News there was a segment which directed me to the Grandmothers Voice Facebook page.

I have been participating in some of the FB events such as Full Moon ceremony, Painting and watching the live.


I have set a goal of learning more of who I am and the Ancestors before me, Following the Medicine Wheel and Grandfathers Teachings and giving back to my community .

Since 1994 I have been a Child and Youth Worker, currently working with the HCDSB. Which has been a wonderful way to share with staff and students some of our traditions and be a strong voice during “Orange Shirt Day”


Cynthia Fioravanti

My name is Cynthia Fioravanti and I am a mother and a teacher with the Peel District School Board. As a person entrusted with the duty of care for children, I have embraced my responsibility to learn about the complex, rich Indigenous culture (both past and present) of Turtle Island. I wanted to learn as much as I could about the past so that I could share my learning and new understandings respectfully with my students in a way which honors the truth. As a parent, I wanted to ensure my children understood the true history of Canada, Turtle Island, and grow up with the knowledge that Europeans did not discover a new land but rather came to a land which was already thriving and then engaged in behaviours which had the impact of erasing a rich culture with deep and meaningful connections to the land. Through this journey of learning I came to discover Grandmother’s Voice, a community of people who are sharing Indigenous knowledge and truths thereby creating a place of healing and wellness. Grandmother’s Voice is a welcoming community filled with amazing people and I am deeply grateful to have the privilege to learn and grow alongside them.


Monique Craigen

Hi, I am Julie Cordasco

I did not know the real Indigenous history and I am ashamed. The first time I heard anything about it was in 2016 when I participated in a Blanket Exercise! My Rotary Club, Burlington North organized it. I cried so much! I grew up with Indigenous people in northern Ontario and I never knew to ask. I want to learn and share the information that I gain at Grandmother’s Voice.

I love to volunteer, especially when it means a lot to me. I can do anything really.


Wendy Roberts

My name is Wendy Roberts. I am a mother (of an adult son and five chickens), a sister, and a partner. I live in Milton Heights, about three minutes from Country Heritage Park. I have always been passionate about nature and my community. I was compelled to get more involved and to take action about 10 years ago when the nature surrounding my community and my community itself were threatened by the Town of Milton and a development proposal. Since then, my journey has led me down two parallel paths that frequently connect: one of political action and calling out local government; and one of personal action, of doing more at home and in the community, to be and help make my community more sustainable. Over the last five years I became interested in native plants and creating natural habitats and, more recently, in food gardening. That is what, in part, led me to Grandmother’s Voice.


What played an equally important role, perhaps a greater role, in leading me to Grandmother’s Voice is my knowledge of the pain and suffering and devastation my people have caused, and continue to cause, Indigenous peoples and my commitment to work to change that. Throughout my paid work life: starting at the fishing camp I worked at one summer on the French River that employed members of the Dokis First Nation Reserve; then as a child and youth worker in various residential settings; as a consultant with a social research and consulting firm which included reviews of two northern women shelters; as the manager of a human rights office on a university campus; and twenty (20) years as a front-line worker and manager of a court based program for survivors and witnesses of violent crime - I heard, saw and felt what I know was just a small fraction of all of the injustices we non-Indigenous people have caused and continue to. Yet, whenever I have had the honour of working with, and being with, an Indigenous person or group, I have never felt anything but welcome and love in return. I have trouble understanding how that can be, but I am also so very grateful and always in awe.


What I hope to do to help Grandmother’s Voice is to help the Garden(s) flourish and involve others in that work. By doing so, I hope to help the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people also flourish. I see the Garden, in some way, as symbolic of that relationship.  I am reading “Braiding Sweetgrass” and there are sooooo many teachings that resonate with me. I will need to read it many times over! One of the passages that has really struck home is this one:


“People often ask me what one thing I would recommend to restore relationship between land and people. My answer is almost always, ‘Plant a garden.’ It’s good for the health of the earth and it’s good for the health of the people. A garden is a nursery for nurturing connection, the soil for cultivation of practical reverence. And its power goes far beyond the garden gate – once you develop a relationship with a little patch of earth, it becomes a seed itself.” (pages 126-127)

I see the Garden very much like a “seed” that not only can connect people to the land, but can connect people to people and as one path to reconciliation. I would be honoured to be able to contribute to such a “seed”.

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