Indigenous Psychological Services was created by Leigh Sheldon. Leigh has been working in the helping field since her bachelor's in 2003 while living in Slave Lake. She witnessed a huge gap in the mental health field and discrimination towards Indigenous peoples in Northern communities. This gap became a source of her passion as she entered her Masters in Counselling, focusing on best practices with Indigenous Counselling.
At a young age, Leigh experienced internalized shame of identifying as Indigenous and how surviving meant not identifying, especially in the education systems (Grade school and Masters education level). Despite that experience, "education and connection to culture have helped break the power of oppressive systems" despite its difficulties. During her journey, she was able to embody the culture and embrace her Indigenous heritage with the help of her mother, Cheryl Sheldon, and her uncle, Elder/Knowledge Keeper Dusty Twin. Connecting with culture allowed Leigh to learn forgiveness, kindness, courage, and, most importantly, empowerment. It has been an ongoing journey and commitment to practice spirituality and traditional ways of knowing, living, and being.
Indigenous Psychological Services was created through her ongoing dreams, visions, offerings, protocols, and ceremonies to support people in ways focused on overcoming our people's barriers and addressing their needs. The agency is based on a circle approach where everyone is equal, has a voice, and has a sense of belonging. "As we sit in our circle, we all have an equal say as to how we can support our clients and, most importantly, follow our passion in a safe community of practice." Our circle provides a healthy kinship embodying the Medicine Wheel to help our people. Our team embraces culture as a way of life and a source of health and well-being. We work together with kindness and unconditional positive regard. "We gather together to support one another while supporting others while we lead with our hearts"-Leigh.
Building a healthy kinship of psychologists and counsellors that will embody the Medicine Wheel.
As well as educate and change the field of psychology that will honour the role of culture and land-based healing.
Services that are cultural and trauma- informed that reflect the needs of Indigenous people.
Our goal is to reduce the barriers and create access to support without compromising the quality of services.
Provide wrap-around services that can honour the person, family, community, and nation.