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:
ISKWEW: Women Helping Women
Prince Albert Co-operative Health Centre
Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
- Target Group:
Everyone (with a focus on women).
- Contact Name:
Dwayne Cameron, Director
ISKWEW services communities in about a 50 mile radius of Prince Albert which includes a number of Native reserves and communities. The programming also covers the women's shelter and Pine Grove (Women's Correctional Facility). About 95% of the clientele is Aboriginal although the program is not restrict to Aboriginal women.
- Goals & Objectives:
To help clients build a long-term network of support for themselves to reduce vulnerability to violence and abuse as well as provide advocacy services for clients when required and appropriate.
- Traditional/Indigenous ways:
The programs, as a whole, do not operate in isolation but within a holistic framework. The use of the Medicine Wheel as a foundation for personal examination and growth is also employed for those who are comfortable with it. The sharing circles are a central part of the program. Traditional parenting skills are also included in the organization's programming.
- Components of program:
The program has two community development workers who provide support to women who have experienced domestic violence by conducting counselling, resources and facilitating "Sharing Circles". The organization also provides other programs directed to other abusive situations such as family violence and senior abuse.
- Services/How they work:
Services are provided on site at the facility.
Funding is provided by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health.
Relationships and Stakeholders
- Involvement of Target Groups:
Women, families and communities are involved in providing feedback to the services provided by both the program and the organization.
Prince Albert women's shelter; and the Pine Grove Correctional Centre.
- Other relationships:
Details of Program Evaluation
An evaluation has not been completed.
- Highlights of Evaluation Findings:
- Measures of Success:
Success is measured against how well clients have adopted and learned the skills that the program offers them.
The reduction of isolation of many Aboriginal women and the acquired knowledge to make their own choices of health and happiness has been a huge accomplishment.
The level of isolation and poverty that clients have to deal with, and the constant need for greater resources to assist them is a challenge. Transportation is a major issue for many of the clients, and it affects their ability to make appointments and access services.
Things to Know to Replicate
- Replication Advice:
The program is considered replicable. The organizers must find ways to engage the community with creative solutions and keep in mind that different employees have different gifts and that their own healing journey is ongoing.
Adequate funding, properly trained staff and facility space for the programming would be necessary to ensure the program's success.
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