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:
- Target Group:
Aboriginal girls (Ages 9 – 13)
- Contact Name:
The program began in September 2009 as the result of a perceived need for programming for younger girls. In the first two years , the program included girls outside of either end of the current age bracket (9-13), but in the last year staff have narrowed that down to meet funding requirements.
- Goals & Objectives:
To support girls in creating a positive sense of self-identity and help them develop the tools and skills needed to build positive relationships, succeed academically and become more knowledgeable about their culture, reducing vulnerability to violence and abuse.
- Traditional/Indigenous ways:
The Indigenous world view is the basis of the programming at Kanikanichichk. By virtue of the organization being run by indigenous managers, this world view is incorporated in the programming. Clients have access to spiritual care whether it be participating in ceremonies or talking to an Elder.
- Components of program:
The program runs as a weekly two hour meeting that focuses on cultural activities (such as pipe ceremony and smudging), academic lessons, and workshops to help build self awareness. The program offers access to Elders and the counsel and teachings they can provide the young girls. One aspect of the program focuses on having the girls obtain powwow regalia so that they can maintain their connections and relationships with the other girls over the summer among the powwow communities. Many of the participants have had their naming ceremony to help them discover more about themselves and to enhance their own sense of self worth.
- Services/How they work:
Services are provided on site at the facility and in the community (at powwow locations)
Funding is provided by the Canadian Women's Foundation.
Relationships and Stakeholders
- Involvement of Target Groups:
The mothers are very involved in supporting the program whether it be through sitting in during sessions, or helping on outings. Various community role models come and share their experiences, as well. Making the link between the girls and their community increases their circle of care, so when the girls go out into the community they know who and where is safe.
- Other relationships:
Other programs within Kanikanichichk, different powwow clubs within Winnipeg, Ma Mawi, Broadway Neighborhood Center, and different schools for recruiting purposes.
Details of Program Evaluation
An evaluation has been completed.
- Highlights of Evaluation Findings:
The program has been found to enhance clients' resiliency, enabling them to make positive friendships and connections with adults. The program has also helped the girls be successful in school. And the program has illustrated that gaining knowledge of their culture and spiritual identity has been a cornerstone of the success of those participating in the program.
- Measures of Success:
Officially it would be through the evaluations, how the parents see the changes in the girls. Personally it is hearing how the participants carry themselves outside of the program. It is also based upon hearing that the girls do good things like being drug and alcohol free, and act as role models in the community.
The program has seen three rounds of participants and there are still connections between the program and the girls even after they have moved on to other programs. Girls have also finished their berry fast or shown themselves to be role models through the program.
Obtaining funding. The first year, the program had a wide age range of accepted participants and had to find out through trial and error what the appropriate age group was so that it could offer appropriate programming. Sharing space is a challenge. A lot of programs are run out of Kanikanichichk and what they are talking about is very different from this program, so sharing space has been a challenge in keeping the clients focused on the program material without distractions.
Things to Know to Replicate
- Replication Advice:
The program is considered replicable. It would need to be a supportive home organization that is dedicated to the Aboriginal world view, and managed by Aboriginal women. It would be important to acknowledge the needs of the participants and find ways to appropriately and respectfully deliver the program that the participants need.
Adequate funding, human resources and facility space would need to be acquired to ensure program success.
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