The Full Story
Indigenous Psychological Services was created by Leigh Sheldon. Leigh has been working in the helping field since her bachelors in 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 became a source of passion as she entered her Masters in Counselling focusing on Best Practices with Indigenous Counselling. During her journey, she herself was able to embody the culture and embrace her own Indigenous heritage with the help of her mother Cheryl Sheldon and her uncle Elder Dusty Twin. Connecting with culture allowed Leigh to learn forgiveness, kindness, courage and most of all acceptance. It has been an ongoing journey and commitment to practice spirituality that helps provide connection and healing. Leigh at a young age experienced internalized shame of identifying as Indigenous and how surviving meant not identifying especially in the education systems (Grade school and Masters education).
Despite that experience, "Education and connection to culture has helped break the power of oppressive systems". It became apparent through ongoing dreams, visions, offerings, protocols and ceremonies, that Indigenous Psychological Services is needed and was created with an Indigenous focused approach that honours our culture as healing. The agency is based on a circle approach where everyone is all equal 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. Our circle provides a healthy kinship that embodies the Medicine Wheel in order to help our people we work with. Our team embraces culture as a way of life and a source of health and wellbeing. We work together with kindness and unconditional positive regard. "We gather together to support one another while supporting others" 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 is cultural and trauma informed that reflects the needs of Indigenous people.
Our goal is to reduce the barriers and create access to support without comprising the quality of services.
Provide wrap around services that can honour the person, family, community and nation.