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

Healing and Renewal of Family Roles and Responsibilities

Program name:

Mi'kmaw Men's Intervention Program

Organization:

Mi'kmaw Family and Children's Services of Nova Scotia

Location:

Eskasoni, Nova Scotia

Target Group:

Men and women (age 19 and over)

Contact Name:

Debbie Boyd

Phone:

902-379-2433

Email:

boydd@gv.ns.ca

Website:

N/A

Program Overview
History:

The program began in 2010 and is ongoing. The program started as a 12 week pilot project with Mi'kmaw Family and Children Services and Second Chance, a court mandated male offender anti-violence program located in Sydney, Nova Scotia. It is now a sustainable program because of the Memorandum of Understanding signed with Eskasoni Mental Health Services and the Mi'kmaq Family Violence Prevention Program.

Program Description
Goals & Objectives:

To assist men in understanding the role violence plays in their lives and teach them how to assume the proper role as husband, father and contributor to the family.

Traditional/Indigenous ways:

All sessions are conducted in Mi'kmaw in Eskasoni. Talking circles are the central format for program delivery. Men talk with eagle feathers. Ceremonies such as smudging, prayers, and Elder participation are used in each gathering.

Components of program:

The Mi'kmaw Men's Intervention Program has three cycles of 12 to 14 weeks. The program offers counselling services for women to understand the tools the men are learning to overcome violent behaviours. Key elements of the program include: creating a framework for learning outcomes and indicators, themes, skills, tools, methodology, aftercare and wrap around services. With trained facilitators, clients set their goals and objectives utilizing the Nova Scotia Provincial Court checklist for Batterer Intervention Programs. Partners of the men involved in the Mi'kmaw Men's Intervention program can come to the healing centre to find a place of safety and access 24 hour counselling.

Services/How they work:

Services are provided on site at the facility.

Funding:

Funding was received from the Province of Nova Scotia Department of Justice; and the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Relationships and Stakeholders
Involvement of Target Groups:

Community members are invited to the Advisory Committee meetings. Male clients participate directly in the content creation of the program.

Partners:

Mi'kmaw Family and Children Services; Mi'kmaw Family Healing and Eskasoni Mental Health Services; the Nova Scotia Department of Justice; Bridges; and Second Chance.

Other relationships:

N/A

Details of Program Evaluation
Evaluation:

An evaluation has been completed.

Highlights of Evaluation Findings:

The report was not made available publicly, and no specific results can be provided.

Program Outcomes
Measures of Success:

Success is measured by client evaluations; and the successful graduation of clients from the program.

Achievements:

Graduates from original program have become mentors for successive programs. The revitalization of Mi'kmaw culture and language has been a huge success. The program has witnessed the healing of families in the community as a result of the services offered.

Challenges:

Obtaining funding. There is a lack of cultural understanding by non-Indigenous service providers. Staff are burdened with too many cases.

Things to Know to Replicate
Replication Advice:

The program is considered replicable. No advice given.

Resources:

Adequate funding, properly trained staff and facility space for the programming would be necessary to ensure the program's success.

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