TWHLS is a community-driven initiative raised out of concern and recognition of the urgent need to break the cycle of Indigenous women’s over-representation in Canada’s prisons. Indigenous-led, we provide trauma-informed, culturally appropriate services for First Nation (Status and Non-Status), Inuit, and Metis 2SLGBTQIA+ women exiting the justice system.

Our Mission

Thunder Woman Healing Lodge Society will promote and provide services for First Nation (Status and Non-Status), Inuit, and Metis 2SLGBTQIA+ Women to focus on their journey to wholeness and balance.

Our Vision

To provide First Nation (Status and Non-Status), Inuit, and Metis 2SLGBTQIA+ women a place in the Greater Toronto Area to heal and reclaim positive cultural identity, rehabilitation, and wellness.

Our Mandate

To establish a Healing Lodge for First Nations (Status and Non-Status), Inuit, and Metis 2SLGBTQIA+ women who have come into conflict with the law, and for those who have survived intergenerational trauma. To provide cultural support, traditional knowledge, and resources, for the advancement of wholeness and balance. To empower First Nations (Status and Non-Status), Inuit, and Metis 2SLGBTQIA+ Women to take their honoured place within their community and culture.


The Residential Substance Abuse Counsellor will:

  • Provide client centered counselling and support. Develop individual treatment plans for residential clients
  • Meet with clients regularly to review and assess goals
  • Provide aid on an ongoing basis through a continuum of services that can include initial and ongoing assessment, goal setting, one-on-one and group support, systems navigation, case management and group facilitation.
  • Assist in ongoing program development in response to client needs and trends
  • Complete administrative tasks; clinical case notes, data base entry, updates, and service-related reports.
  • Provide crisis intervention support as needed and follow up notes as required.
  • Review client background information, interview clients to obtain case history and prepare
  • intake reports
  • Effectively navigate through community support services and make appropriate referrals.
  • Provide off-site support to clients as part of regular programming
  • Have flexibility to work various/ on-call shifts
  • Performs other organizational duties as assigned.
  • Practice strict COVID 19 Procedures and Protocols always.

All staff must possess an understanding of the barriers and challenges faced by Indigenous women who have come into conflict with the Canadian correctional system. This position is a full-time position. The Residential Substance Abuse Counsellor will represent Thunder Woman Healing Lodge Society by demonstrating the qualities of the Seven Grandfather Teachings: Respect, Honesty, Truth, Humility, Courage Wisdom and Love.


  • Minimum SSW or 2-year college diploma in a human services/ social work/ addictions program.
  • Extensive experience in counselling/ working with and supporting Indigenous clients with addictions and mental health challenges. Extensive experience in working one-on-one with Indigenous populations.
  • Excellent interpersonal, verbal, and written communication skills.
  • Valid Driver’s License will be considered an asset.
  • Experience in telephone, virtual and in-person counselling.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and as an effective team member.
  • Understanding and delivery of trauma informed, anti-racist and anti-oppressive practices.
  • Ability to deal effectively with conflict and crisis.
  • CPI, CPR
  • Solid understanding of the social determinants and effects of incarceration substance dependency, mental health and trauma for Indigenous women who are often marginalized and vulnerable.
  • Demonstrated competency in the issues of the LGBTQ and Trans communities, gender-based violence and women who have come into conflict with the law.
  • Understanding of the inter-generational impacts of systemic genocidal practices toward Indigenous populations
  • Organizational skills with attention to detail while also having the ability to see and appreciate the
  • big picture.
  • Efficient knowledge of Microsoft Office; including Word and Outlook.
  • Certificate from a reputable educational institute in Addictions, Mental Health (concurrent
  • disorders) and Level 1 Trauma with 3-5 years professional experience in addictions treatment.


  • Contribute to the orientation and training of new staff, students, and volunteers.
  • Participate in informal and formal team meetings to review and discuss cases, secure, and offer advice concerning clients and provide input into other team and operational issues.


  • Comply with the agency Health and Safety plan.
  • Comply with agency policies and procedures.
  • Perform other tasks as assigned by management.

** We strongly urge Indigenous (First Nations, Metis, and Inuit) individuals to apply and self-identify.

Please send your cover letter and resume to Patti Pettigrew: Please subject email: Residential Substance Abuse Counsellor

Only successful candidates will be contacted.