Girl making a heart with her fingers and the sunset poking through

Healing the heart and mind

July 15, 2021
Author: Noelle Hanuse (Wuikinuxv), Wellness Advisor, MA, CCC

A video series for Indigenous students

The power of our hearts and minds can uplift us and help us create the life we want, Noelle Hanuse (Wuikinuxwv), a Wellness Advisor with VIU’s Office of Indigenous Education and Engagement. She has created a series of videos around this theme to help Indigenous students navigate their lives and their post-secondary goals in a healthy way.

“I hope students will understand how our thoughts are linked to our feelings and subsequent behaviours and actions, and how changing their thoughts and actions will help them feel better and lift their spirits,” she says. 

“I hope they will see the importance of reaching out and how that will help them to make the changes in their life that feel right for them and how this enhances connection to others. It is not as simple as just changing our thoughts, and seeing a counsellor is helpful to explore what is going on in the mind and body and strategies for how deal with it.”

Noelle, who is from the Wuikinuxv and Klahoose Nations of BC, bases her work as a Wellness Advisor on years of her own healing journey, her educational background, as well as spiritual teachings from Elders and Eastern philosophic teachings. She blends both, as they are universal and provide a deep nurturing of the spirit. One of the most potent messages Noelle acknowledges on her journey is how powerful our thoughts are, enough so, to create our life. 

“This is not to minimize how historic and ongoing colonial trauma impacts Indigenous peoples and how we think about ourselves and life in general, but rather it acknowledges the hard work involved in undoing these negative messages. My message to students is they are children of the Creator and deserve to be happy and peaceful, and that our traumas can eventually become enlightenment as we move forward in service to others. Love is the greatest healer and can move mountains, and we need to move them together.” 

Noelle recommends watching the videos in the order she made them. Click on the links below to follow the program:


#1: Healing Through Spirit (Every Child Matters event)


#2: Living by Spiritual Values

#3: Reaching Out is a Strength

#4: Spirit of Depression:  Opening the Door to Wellness

#5: Stress Less: Dealing with Anxiety

#6: Heart and Mind Power

#7: Dealing with Racism

#8: Strong Heart Strong Mind: Tips for Online Learning

#9: Strong Heart Strong Mind: Part II, by Indigenous Education Navigator Naomi Bailey

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