The Founder of Healing Wounds Ministry, Heidi Swalve, started this organization based on the research that she had done on a Catholic Missionary named Father Baraga who became Bishop in the year 1853. Having not been raised Catholic Father Baraga interested her based on his work with the Ojibwe Natives who played a significant role in her own life. Knowing the histories of the boarding schools, this research was initially done with great skepticism about his role with the Native populations. But as her research continued she discovered that Father Baraga not only shared the gospel of Christ, he lived the gospel of Christ amongst the Natives. His work of sharing the warmth and light of the gospel of Jesus Christ then won over the hearts of many of the Native people who were struggling with the European settlers who were coming onto their lands and the government who wanted to overtake them.
A year after Father Baraga's passing in 1868 the United States Government instituted what was considered the 'Peace Policy' which paved the path for the beginning of the unfortunate histories of the boarding schools. During this time Native children were taken from their parents and homes, the children were banned from using their languages, and many went through histories of abuse which the Native populations are still recovering from to this day. During this time the raw side of Christianity was seen which paralleled the name of Christ with these harms.
Healing Wounds is dedicated to helping to repairs and amends for the histories that have transpired amongst the Native populations and to show what the positive side of the gospel creates. Due to the impact that the boarding schools have had upon the Native populations, Healing Wounds Ministry is a non-proselytizing ministry, but instead is a ministry that seeks to share the gospel of Christ through ones actions of care and concern for another. It seeks to uplift the Native populations and teaches them that Christianity was never instituted to create oppression, but rather to alleviate oppression.
Healing Wounds Ministry creates the foundation for the Native populations to again repair and retain the positive aspects of their cultures and amend the challenges that happened in the boarding schools through four pillars: language revitalization, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, assisting with resources for food, shelter and clothing and land retention.