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:
Walking the Prevention Circle
Canadian Red Cross
Victoria, British Columbia
- Target Group:
Aboriginal adults and social service agency employees.
- Contact Name:
Shelley Cardinal, National Aboriginal Consultant
"Walking the Prevention Circle" was developed 12 years ago as a specific Canadian Red Cross Respect ED program that arose from a need expressed by Aboriginal communities for a violence prevention program that empowers Aboriginal participants to name and reclaim the past, and begin the transition from the cycle of violence to the circle of healing. The program was launched in western Canada (4 western provinces and 3 territories) in 2000; and nationally in 2003. There are 3 regional managers – in western Canada, Ontario and eastern Canada
- Goals & Objectives:
To create safe environments free from violence and abuse, especially for children and youth. The program also strives to expand the capacity and early involvement of culturally-appropriate health and social services to work with children and families in their homes and communities; and supports a collective responsibility to keep children safe, which is essential to their health and that of their families and communities.
- Traditional/Indigenous ways:
Where available, community Elders are asked to be a part of the process. This adds a strong cultural component to the program that works hand in hand with the preventions program to speak to a history of strength through creation and nation stories. Clients may also be referred to local traditional, Indigenous healers.
- Components of program:
The program only goes to a community at the community's request. The program coordinator then discusses with the community their needs, capacity, support systems and strengths. Community members are then selected by the community to attend prevention training workshops. The graduates of these workshops become certified prevention educators and deliver prevention education to children, youth and adults within their own community. The program educator graduates are mentored, monitored and supported through community systems and the Canadian Red Cross
- Services/How they work:
Services are provided on site within communities that request the program's assistance.
Funding is received from the Department of Justice Canada; the Department of Public Safety Canada's National Crime Prevention Centre; and the Department of Health Canada.
Relationships and Stakeholders
- Involvement of Target Groups:
Community members decide who is involved from the community and how they would like the process to unfold.
- Other relationships:
The program works with numerous groups, agencies and organizations in Aboriginal communities across the country.
Details of Program Evaluation
An evaluation has been completed.
- Highlights of Evaluation Findings:
Consistently a highly rated program, particularly when the focus is on integrated cultural understanding and teaching tools that are reflective of communities (e.g. video tools integrate with "our stories")
- Measures of Success:
Success is measured by the continued increase in the number of communities seeking these services based solely upon word of mouth.
Gaining community recognition that communities want more education and to acknowledge and work through the legacy of the residential school system. Communities participating in the program also have recognized that healing is a process that ultimately provides the community with the ability to make more positive and effective decisions for the greater well-being of that community.
Obtaining funding. Difficulty of running education programs through government programs that may or may not be interested in funding these types of programs from year to year.
Things to Know to Replicate
- Replication Advice:
The program is considered replicable. It has already been delivered to over 200 Aboriginal communities in several different languages and will soon be providing its services to Australian communities.
Sufficient funding must be acquired to maximize program's effectiveness. Community involvement is essential to program success.
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