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

Raising Awareness in Broader Community

Program name:

Domestic Violence Training

Organization:

Equay-wuk Women's Group

Location:

Sioux Lookout, Ontario

Target Group:

First Nations women (18 and over), Youth (18 – 29).

Contact Name:

Darlene Angeconeb, Project Coordinator

Phone:

1-800-261-8294

Email:

equaywuk@bellnet.ca

Website:

www.equaywuk.ca

Program Overview
History:

The Equay-wuk Women's Group was formed in 1989 by women from the north working in Sioux Lookout (hospital, school, tribal councils). When it began, most communities were fly-in; most are road accessible now. The organization was started because of a lack of services for women in the north. There were no shelters. One of the ladies moved to Sioux Lookout and observed there were no assistance services available to women. The program began with a sewing circle that also involved talking about family violence. The women would invite police and nurses to talk to them about safety. Over time, Equay-wuk women opened a shelter in Sioux Lookout.

Program Description
Goals & Objectives:

To create awareness of Domestic Violence in the remote First Nations communities; to implement four Domestic Violence Training workshops to community service providers/workers in the remote First Nation communities; to update and revise the Domestic Violence Training Resource materials/kit; and to distribute the Domestic Violence Resource materials/kit to 31 remote First Nations.

Traditional/Indigenous ways:

Elders are involved in the program and offer access to ceremonies and teachings to help facilitate aspects of the program. Some exercises during workshops involve collecting natural items (i.e. moss) and its traditional uses are incorporated into the workshops. Traditional uses of foods are sometimes discussed.

Components of program:

The program provides information sessions to their community. It has worked on a Community Declaration for First Nations communities, specifically to get Chiefs and Councils involved in becoming 'violence free'. Sometimes, workshops are called Healthy Communities\Healthy Nations. Participants watch videos that detail what violence does to children. Resources are given to communities and to community workers to do workshop sessions. Many communities have radio stations and the program utilizes that medium of communication to read out scripts. Sometimes, people call in to talk. The program provides resources and some are translated into the language. Booklets are also translated. The information is on family violence,-- what it is and what kind of help is available. Family violence awareness training sessions are incorporated throughout all of the programs in the organization including the Early Childhood Education program and the Skills Training Program. A facilitator will do a specific workshop on family violence awareness. The program is holistic and is applicable to the whole family.

Services/How they work:

Services are offered on site at the facility and in various locations throughout the community.

Funding:

Funding has been provided by the Ontario Women's Directorate and the Heritage Canada Foundation.

Relationships and Stakeholders
Involvement of Target Groups:

The project's planning committee includes board members and staff.

Partners:

Sioux Lookout Area Management Board; Northern Nishnawbe Education Council; Shooniya-Wabitoong Area Management Board; Wawatay Native Communications Society; and Nodin Counselling.

Other relationships:

The program also works closely with 31 other remote First Nations communities.

Details of Program Evaluation
Evaluation:

No evaluation has been completed.

Highlights of Evaluation Findings:

N/A

Program Outcomes
Measures of Success:

Success is measured based upon the level of participation in the workshops (attendance) and the ability for the programs to successfully be funded.

Achievements:

Achieving the representation of women in Chief's council meetings.

Challenges:

Travel costs are a huge challenge. There is a need for more funding for remote women's programs, for shelters, for communities, for women's groups.

Things to Know to Replicate
Replication Advice:

The program is considered replicable. No advice given.

Resources:

Sufficient funding, trained staff and community involvement are necessary to ensure the program's success.

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