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: Children and Youth

Program name:

Spirit Movers and Fire Keepers Youth Program

Organization:

Minwaashin Lodge

Location:

Ottawa, Ontario

Target Group:

Youth.

Contact Name:

N/A

Phone:

N/A

Email:

info@minlodge.com

Website:

www.minlodge.com

Program Overview
History:

The program has been running since 1999 and has grown steadily in size over the years.

Program Description
Goals & Objectives:

To provide youth with awareness, knowledge, information and teachings about Aboriginal culture, and to promote and initiate the development of healthy friendships and relationships with other youth, free from violence and abuse.

Traditional/Indigenous ways:

The program offers support and advocacy to clients, which balances the needs of the mind, body, and spirit, to develop, maintain and promote healthy lifestyles; provides youth with opportunities to develop pride and respect for their Aboriginal culture. Youth are encouraged to learn and participate in cultural activities. Traditional teachings are woven through all aspects of the program.

Components of program:

The program supports and provides at-risk Aboriginal youth with access to their culture, through sacred teachings and by promoting holistic healing. In doing so, they are able to promote links between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal organizations and services in the context of a community framework of healing. The program also encourages and facilitates the healing of relationships between youth and their biological and extended families. A large focus of the program entails maintaining contact with incarcerated youth and helping them remain in contact with their families.

Services/How they work:

Services are provided on site at the facility or off site at various locations in the community.

Funding:

Funding is provided by the City of Ottawa.

Relationships and Stakeholders
Involvement of Target Groups:

The program is a parent co-operative and parents are heavily involved in the development of the program. Caregivers are asked to provide a "must have" list and a "wish" list for the program and programs are developed from this feedback to meet their needs.

Partners:

Children's Aid Society; Makonsag Aboriginal Head Start Inc.; Tewegan Transition House; Tungasuvvingat Inuit; Native Women's Association of Canada; City of Ottawa Public Health; Ottawa Public Library; Ottawa Inuit Children's Centre; Odawa Native Friendship Centre; Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health.

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.N/A

Program Outcomes
Measures of Success:

Success is measured by the number of client cases that are closed.

Achievements:

Seeing adults who first came in as children come back as adults in a better state than their own parents.

Challenges:

The program is under staffed. Youth find it difficult to take advantage of the program because they must be labelled as "high risk" in order to become clients.

Things to Know to Replicate
Replication Advice:

The program is considered replicable. Program organizers would need to be open to traditional support methods given in an Aboriginal context.

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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