Dibaadan Support


Dibaadan provides specialized outreach, prevention, and intervention from an Indigenous wellness perspective. This includes events and activities to learn more about caring for your wellbeing. Any student may access these services (status, non-status, non-Indigenous). Click on any of the options below to find out more information: 

Brief Individual Counselling

Short-term, individual counselling appointments, with the Dibadaan Counsellor. Wholistic interventions for a variety of mental, spiritual, physical and emotional concerns, using an indigenous approach to wellness.

To request an intake appointment please visit us in the Student Development and Services Office (Room: B210), or complete the online registration form located here.

Once you complete the Registration Form please download or save a copy and then email it to counselling@nipissingu.ca. Once received within regular business hours (Monday - Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm) you will be contacted within 24 hours of receipt of the form to schedule an appointment.

Students usually receive 1-6 counselling sessions, scheduled bi-weekly in 50 minute appointments. These services cannot be provided in conjunction with Therapy Groups, or SST appointments. Although, Dibaadan drop in, sharing circles and outreach/prevention events can be offered in conjunction with these supports. Students registered for Dibaadan Brief Individual Services are encouraged but not limited to scheduling appointments with the Dibaadan Counsellor, as to allow drop in times for other students' who are not yet receiving Counselling supports.

During peak times of year, Student Counselling Services may have a waitlist for therapy services. If this is the case, you will be provided with options for next steps. If Student Counselling Services is operating a waitlist, your intake counsellor will advise you at your intake appointment.

Please provide 24 hours’ notice if you are unable to attend a scheduled appointment, by contacting our office (705-474-3450 X: 4507) as soon as possible. Reschedule any missed or cancelled appointments by contacting our office.​

Dibaadan Therapy Group

The Four Directions group is a wholistic wellness group that is based on the Anishinaabe teachings of the Medicine Wheel. Participants will learn some of the teachings of the medicine wheel and how the teachings show us the importance of balance, wholistic wellness and living a good life, “mino bimaadiziwin”. Using Indigenous teachings, ceremony, and sacred medicines, participants will be able to learn ways to create balance in their lives through using Indigenous knowledge and caring for the Spiritual, Emotional, Mental and Physical aspects of themselves.

The Four Directions Group will be offered over 4 weeks. Each week will explore a different direction of the Medicine wheel, its teachings, and gifts. Each week the group will be conducted in sharing circle format that will have a traditional opening and closing.

To register, request an intake appointment by completing the online registration form located here.​

Once you complete the Registration Form please download or save a copy and then email it to counselling@nipissingu.ca. Once received within regular business hours (Monday - Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm) you will be contacted within 24 hours of receipt of the form to schedule an appointment.

Seven Grandfather Drop-In

A weekly drop-in counselling service, students can attend without requesting or scheduling an appointment. Students will have the opportunity to talk in a safe setting with a counsellor. All students are welcome.

During your first visit the Dibaadan Counsellor will provide new students with a brief orientation to the services offered and review confidentiality policies.

The Dibaadan counsellor guides a discussion on one of the seven grandfather teachings (Bravery, Truth, Humility, Respect, Love, Wisdom, Courage). Students work to develop better strategies for coping, healing and wellness

Sharing Circles

Indigenous ‘Sharing Circles’ build on wholistic mental health and wellbeing. This is a supportive time for reflecting, relationship building, and sharing with others.

The sharing circles help introduce students to sharing, and learning together. Gaining a better understanding of self and others. Every sharing circle begins with a smudging ceremony.

If you are new to the sharing circle, the Dibaadan Counsellor will provide a brief orientation of the protocols and confidentiality policies.

All students are welcome!

History of Dibaadan

From September 2015 – March 2017, Nipissing University under the leadership of Student Counselling Services funded by the Mental Health Innovation Fund, led a two- year initiative to overall “Strengthen Mental Health Services for Indigenous Students” at Nipissing University. This project was called “Dibaadan”. (Speak from Your Heart- Your Truth – Ojibway Anishnaabemowin)

Phase 1: The Project Facilitator worked within a consultative framework (medicine wheel) with an Indigenous Advisory Circle consisting of community leaders in the helping field as well a Traditional Elder and NU student representatives.

Phase 1 consisted of evaluating and information gathering of peer reviewed scholarly literature on “Wise Indigenous Mental Health Practices”. In particular identifying barriers that exist for Indigenous learners that wish to access mental health services. This phase of data collection included: Interviewing students, Office of Aboriginal Iniatives, SCS counseling staff and counselors at the university. Also, hosting Discussion Circles, a Drum Social and a Traditional Anishinabek Medicine Bag Workshop for students.

As a way of “giving back” to the community, Dibaadan hosted a series of Teach In’s facilitated by leaders in the Anishinabek community open for all of Nipissing University.

Phase 2: The Project Facilitator worked with the Advisory Circle, Nipissing University students, Office of Aboriginal Initiatives and Student Counseling Services (SCS) to select recommendations for immediate implementation. The Project Facilitator assisted SCS in the appropriate implementation of select recommendations and evaluated the impact of these changes to service. A focus was on sustainability as the project and funding would end in March 2017. The project would report Dibaadan wise practices, Indigenous Evaluative approaches, Values, Accessibility of Services influenced and student narratives/voices and outline what we did best, possible future outcomes with the Nipissing University community, community partners, and the Post Secondary Student Counseling programs across the province.

Phase 3: The Project Facilitator worked with the advisory circle members, and Nipissing University to hire a Dibaadan counsellor. Changes to the Student Development Services (SDS) environment made the office space more inviting to indigenous students. The Dibaadan counsellor and the ‘Enji Giigdoyang’ Office of Indigenous Initiatives (OII) department continue to work on strengthening their partnerships and collaborating on projects that support indigenous students on campus.

Additionally, the Dibaadan project created a monthly professional development day for the staff from both SDS and OII to learn more about Anishinabek values, ceremony, cultural awareness and insight about post-secondary indigenous student stories. Other practices such as brief individual counselling, sharing circles, and drop-in time supporting the seven grandfather teachings were implemented by the project.

Currently, the Dibaadan project continues to grow and develop collaboratively with the students that participate. The advisory circle members meet bi-annually to discuss the future of the Dibaadan Project. Indigenous holistic programing will continue to be available on campus to aid all students in their post-secondary journey.

Cultural Knowledge Building, Relationships and Community!​​

Dibaadan Report

Indigenous Helplines and Resources

Talk 4 Healing

Talk 4 Healing - 1855 554 3310

This is a free & culturally safe telephone help line for Aboriginal Women living in Northern Ontario.​


Honouring Life Network

Honouring Life Network - 1-877-602-4445 ext. 567​​​


North Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre

Aboriginal Healing & Wellness Program - 705-472-2811 ext. 219

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