The Niagara wellness portal is a place to learn about mental wellness, reflect upon your own
well-being and find available resources. It is designed as a comprehensive resource tool for all
post-secondary students. As you read information and discover local resources, you will note that a
holistic health approach is used, inspired by the concept of the Medicine Wheel. An Aboriginal
perspective of health and wellness is presented as a teaching for all—a person’s body, mind, spirit,
and emotion are all interrelated and continually balanced for overall wellbeing.
The wellness wheel, used in this project, is inspired by the aboriginal concept of the medicine wheel.
The medicine wheel derives from the Lakota and other Plains nations of central and western America.
Credit is given to the Lakota who used this wheel as a teaching on how to live in balance.
The medicine wheel has been used by Aboriginal Peoples in a variety of ways. For the Algonquin,
the medicine wheel addresses the spiritual, intellectual, emotional, and physical aspects of a
person. The teachings of the medicine wheel include living with courage and in peace, unity,
and harmony. The Ojibwe see the wheel as a representation of the four directions: the east, south,
west, and north. The four directions serve as a reminder of different aspects in our lives. In a Cree
interpretation, different parts of the medicine wheel represent the life stages: the beginning of life
as an infant, young adult, adult, and an older person.
For the purposes of this website, the wellness wheel is used to inspire an understanding of holistic health
and balance. Feel free to explore the quadrants to gain a deeper understanding of balancing your body, mind,
spirit, and emotion.
A person’s mind, body spirit, and emotion are intricately interrelated within a holistic health perspective.
We achieve wellness by bringing into balance our physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual aspects of
ourselves. In contrast, imbalance can result in an experience of illness, which affects all the parts of our
system. For example, someone living with depression may experience sadness (emotional), low energy (physical),
challenges with concentration (intellectual), and an unclear sense of purpose (spiritual). How to achieve
balance will be different for each person. A journey towards wellness may involve self-reflection, connecting
with friends, family, and community, using a variety of community resources, and/ or seeking support from a
The Niagara Region was originally Haundenosaunnee territory and traditional
hunting grounds. Now many nations reside within the Niagara Region with a population
of over 427 000. Today, what we know as the Niagara Region, is a geographical area of 1 852 km2
situated between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie in Southern Ontario. This area is made up of 12
municipalities including, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Falls, Fort Erie, St. Catharines, Thorold, Welland, Port
Colborne, Lincoln, Pelham, Wainfleet, Grimsby and West Lincoln.