Family Violence Initiative

COMPENDIUM OF PROMISING PRACTICES TO REDUCE VIOLENCE AND INCREASE SAFETY OF ABORIGINAL WOMEN IN CANADA – COMPENDIUM ANNEX: DETAILED PRACTICE DESCRIPTIONS

HISTORICAL LEGACY

Residential Schools Healing

Program name:

Aboriginal Survivors for Healing Inc.

Organization:

Aboriginal Survivors for Healing Inc.

Location:

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Target Group:

Residential school survivors and their families.

Contact Name:

Tarry Hewitt

Phone:

902-368-8498

Email:

ash@pei.aibn.com

Website:

http://www.ahf.ca/

Program Overview
History:

This program was founded in 2000 and has evolved to provide traditionally-based healing services since 2003.

Program Description
Goals & Objectives:

ASH's mission is to provide resources to promote reconciliation and encourage and support Aboriginal people and their communities in building and reinforcing sustainable healing processes that address the legacy of physical, sexual, mental, cultural, and spiritual abuses in the residential school system, including intergenerational impacts.

Traditional/Indigenous ways:

Sessions are mediated by a traditional counsellor to provide cultural and experiential sensitivity for the clients. Traditional healing ceremonies such as sweat lodges are also offered to clients.

Components of program:

Activities include separate gender healing circles that meet regularly on a weekly basis that focus on areas of: anger management, grief and loss, childhood sexual abuse, addictions and parenting skills. The program also offers the services of Resolution Health Support Workers, whose focus is to provide emotional support to residential school survivors. Another activity is the Male Descendants Group that also meets on a weekly basis. The components of the male descendant groups are more focused on anger management, addictions and parenting. In 2007 the program offered three seniors' abuse prevention workshops. The goal was to reduce the risk of violence for survivors who would be awarded compensation funds.

Services/How they work:

Services are provided on site.

Funding:

Funding is provided through the Department of Health Canada.

Relationships and Stakeholders
Involvement of Target Groups:

The residential school survivors and descendants make up the board of directors.

Partners:

The Department of Health Canada, Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs.

Other relationships:

Was partnered with the Aboriginal Healing Foundation before that organization's closure.

Details of Program Evaluation
Evaluation:

An evaluation has been completed.

Highlights of Evaluation Findings:

Information is available on request.

Program Outcomes
Measures of Success:

The program measures its success based upon individual client successes. There are also qualitative measurements done in the form of informal verbal participant evaluations, statistical records, participation rates and written evaluations.

Achievements:

An increase in public awareness of the legacy of residential schools. Has helped increase the acceptance of traditional healing practices as a viable option for treatment. The program sees individual accomplishments as markers of success.

Challenges:

Obtaining funding. There is difficulty in building trust with survivors. Unfunded referrals.

Things to Know to Replicate
Replication Advice:

Replication is possible.

Resources:

A traditional healer with the qualities necessary to work within the program is needed.

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