Family Violence Initiative

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

INTERACTIONS WITHIN COMMUNITIES

Healthy Relationships: Women

Program name:

In Mother's Footsteps

Organization:

Regional Inuit Women's Association

Location:

St. John's, Newfoundland and surrounding areas.

Target Group:

Primarily women, but recognizing the needs of the family unit.

Contact Name:

Myrtle Banfield, Coordinator

Phone:

709-754-6541

Email:

mhbanfield@yahoo.ca

Website:

www.inuitwomen.ca

Program Overview
History:

The program was initially started in 2007, however in February 2011, the organization re-created itself, deciding that it needs to be more active. It now has a new board and a new vision. This organization places high priority on hearing the needs and priorities of each community so that programs can be tailored to meet needs. Board members are in each community and network regularly by teleconference to highlight needs in their communities. Priorities that have been raised include: homelessness, isolation, and a lack of foster care options within the communities (concerns that children are sent from Labrador to Newfoundland)

Program Description
Goals & Objectives:

To reduce isolation and promote the belief that women have choices and do not have to feel trapped and alone or accept family violence.

Traditional/Indigenous ways:

Primarily through ensuring programs are culturally appropriate, and by teaching traditional craft skills.

Components of program:

Programs are tailored to meet individual community needs. With the increased commitment to the program from the Regional Inuit Women's Association, the program has been able to offer clients a crafting program that focuses on traditional crafts and the potential entrepreneurial opportunities of selling one's crafts and/or teaching crafts to others. The staff have also been working on a program that would train women in communities to be the lead "go to" people that women in crisis could turn to for support and assistance.

Services/How they work:

Services are offered in participating communities.

Funding:

Funding provided by Tasijujoak Trust; Nunatsiavut Government; and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Women's Policy Office.

Relationships and Stakeholders
Involvement of Target Groups:

There are board members in each community, and lead women identified in each community so that programs can be tailored to meet the needs identified in each community since the needs and resources vary. The facility is also planning to hire interviewers in each community in order to further identify community needs and concerns.

Partners:

The Department of the Status of Women Canada; the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Women's Policy Office; Violence Prevention Labrador; Nunatsiavut Government.

Other relationships:

Community agencies and other organizations across Canada.

Details of Program Evaluation
Evaluation:

An evaluation has been completed.

Highlights of Evaluation Findings:

Women appeared to appreciate the opportunity to get together and learn new skills – program was well received.

Program Outcomes
Measures of Success:

Success is measured by an increase in awareness of the program, and that there are options and people to turn to; the community does not need to feel so isolated; turnout at vigils and events promoting the idea that no one needs to accept family violence, that this is not a part of Inuit culture and does not need to be a part of anyone's life – the turnout and response from the community has been good – these are all measures of success.

Achievements:

Increased awareness and some reduced isolation in the lives of community members. Clients are able to be a part of a network.

Challenges:

Obtaining funding. This organization currently has no core funding, so needs to apply for program funding regularly. This is problematic, since programs then need to meet funding criteria, rather than being flexible enough to meet the needs identified by the communities. One of the strengths of this program is the ability to identify community-specific needs (i.e. homelessness, foster care concerns, varying degrees of isolation, different resources in different communities, etc.) – however the lack of core funding means that it is often difficult to tailor programs to meet these diverse needs, and constant scrambling for funding limits action.

Things to Know to Replicate
Replication Advice:

The program is considered replicable. The most important lesson is to listen to what each community needs and to have a budget that will allow for the creation of programs that meet identified needs.

Resources:

Adequate funding will need to be procured in order to operate effectively.

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