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

Family Violence Interventions

Program name:

Gignoo Transition House, Inc.

Organization:

Gignoo Transition House

Location:

Fredericton, New Brunswick

Target Group:

Women and children (15 and under)

Contact Name:

Sarah Rose, President

Phone:

506-471-4795

Email:

gignoo@nbnet.nb.ca

Website:

www.gignoohouse.ca

Program Overview
History:

Planning began in the early 1990s, and the facility opened its doors on January 18, 1993. It has not changed in size, but there have been renovations to the building.

Program Description
Goals & Objectives:

To eliminate the cycle of violence in First Nations communities; to help clients become independent and self-sufficient; to provide a safe and comfortable place for women and children who flee abusive home situations; to educate shelter residents on domestic/family violence and abuse, what it is and the different types of abuse; and to find suitable long-term housing for clients and direct them into programs suitable for their needs.

Traditional/Indigenous ways:

Traditional components are not regular aspects of the program; although there are some healing circles and sweat lodge ceremonies that occur during the year on no fixed schedule.

Components of program:

Staff help clients create safety plans for themselves and their children. The program also helps women find access to short term housing, provides access to youth groups and a full time child-care worker who runs a program for children. It promotes the client's healing journey through the Healthy Lifestyles Program, an educational series that teaches women about the dynamics of the cycle of violence and abuse and how to stay away from violent and abusive relationships.

Services/How they work:

Services are provided on site at the facility.

Funding:

Funding provided by the Department of Aboriginal and Northern Development Canada; the Department of the Status of Women Canada; Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation; and the New Brunswick Ministry of Postsecondary Education, Training and Labour

Relationships and Stakeholders
Involvement of Target Groups:

N/A

Partners:

St. Mary's First Nation community group; the other 2 shelters in the city: Liberty Lane and Women in Transition House; The National Aboriginal Circle Against Family Violence; New Brunswick Coalition of Transition Houses; Skigin-Elnoog Housing Corporation; Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation; the Public Legal Education and Information Services of New Brunswick; and New Brunswick Aboriginal Women's Council, Inc.

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 how comfortable clients feel accessing the services; and also by how many clients leave violent relationships and become independent as a result of accessing the programs and services.

Achievements:

The program was able to procure three housing units for short term housing of clients and increased the public's awareness of the issues the program works on. Gignoo Transition House created The Healing Journey, a toolkit for family violence prevention in Aboriginal communities, partnering with the Public Legal Education and Information Service of New Brunswick, and together they promoted the toolkit across Canada.

Challenges:

Providing safe temporary and affordable long term housing for clients. Dealing with client addictions.

Things to Know to Replicate
Replication Advice:

The program is considered replicable. One would have to know about funding sources and the financial side of operating a shelter, have strong administrative procedures that can sustain the shelter, knowledge about violence and violent behaviours, and have sensitivity to Aboriginal victims and perpetrators of violence and the associated history.

Resources:

Adequate funding and appropriately trained and supportive staff as well as a facility to operate out of are essential to program success.

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