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:

Women's Family Violence Program, Ganohkwasra

Organization:

Women's Family Violence Program, Ganohkwasra

Location:

Ohsweken, Ontario

Target Group:

Women identifying as Six Nation members

Contact Name:

Sandra Montour, Executive Director

Phone:

519-445-4324

Email:

smontour@ganohkwasra.ca

Website:

http://www.ganohkwasra.ca/

Program Overview
History:

The women's family violence program was the first program offered at Ganohkwasra when it was established in 1988. Initially the program employed one counsellor; it has since grown to employ 18. Together with Ganohkwasra's other programs and services, they assist 2513 clients annually

Program Description
Goals & Objectives:

To provide for the stabilization, maintenance, revitalization and enhancement of the family structure in a culturally sensitive manner, reducing vulnerability to violence and abuse.

Traditional/Indigenous ways:

Clients are treated in group and individual sessions that combine mainstream counselling techniques with Ogweho:weh teachings.

Components of program:

The counselling is offered on two levels. The first is a psycho-educational 12 week program. The second is an intensive (inner child) program. The program seeks to achieve its goal through advocacy and referral support, developing client education and awareness, case conferences, psycho dramatic bodywork, safe emotional release work, art and play therapy techniques, massage therapy, meditation and relaxation techniques and energy therapy techniques. Traditional Haudenosaunee teachings are central to all counselling.

Services/How they work:

Services are provided on site at the facility.

Funding:

Funding is provided by the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Strategy; and the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada.

Relationships and Stakeholders
Involvement of Target Groups:

Both the Six Nations Band Council and Haudenosaunee Confederacy have seats on the Ganohkwasra Board of Directors. Ganohkwasra has particularly strong ties to the Confederacy who send people to Ganohkwasra to cleanse the building, speak to clients, and open and close speaks. Chiefs and faith keepers are often consulted on other aspects of Ganohkwasra including the naming of programs.

Partners:

Grand Erie School Board; Police; Social Services; Children's Aid Society; Six Nations Health; and Nova Vita Women's Services.

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 of the program is measured through individual evaluations; how often the programs are being utilized; and from feedback given by the community.

Achievements:

The program has increased the safety of many women. If they've been through the program, Ganohkwasra is assured that they understand the signs of abuse, know what to look for, what to do, and that they can always come back.

Challenges:

Ganohkwasra is short-staffed with waiting lists ranging from one to eight months. Additional funding would allow the organization to help more people in need.

Things to Know to Replicate
Replication Advice:

Although aspects of the program could be replicated, the program in its entirety cannot. The program is deeply rooted in Haudenosaunee culture which offers a unique approach and allows counsellors to teach under a cultural framework through traditional teachings. The concept of each person's duality is central to the program.

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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